British astronaut Tim Peake had his historic spacewalk cut short this afternoon after his American colleague Tim Kopra reported water building up in his helmet.
The astronauts are now safely back at the International Space Station (ISS) after Flight Engineer Kopra said the ‘bubble of water’ was growing rapidly, up to four inches long.
Nasa’s Mission Control stressed it was not an emergency still ordered the astronauts back to the air lock two thirds of the way through the scheduled spacewalk.
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The astronauts are now safely back at the International Space Station (ISS) after Flight Engineer Kopra said the ‘bubble of water’ was growing rapidly in his helmet, up to four inches long, which could have proven dangerous
Nasa’s Mission Control stressed it was not an emergency, but still ordered the astronauts back to the air lock two thirds of the way through the scheduled spacewalk. Flight Engineer Tim Kopra is pictured
Nasa’s Mission Control stressed it was not an emergency still ordered the astronauts back to the air lock two thirds of the way through the scheduled spacewalk. Flight Engineer Kopra is seen here after having his helmet removed
WHERE COULD THE WATER HAVE COME FROM?
The water could have been condensation, but its cool temperature, reported by Flight Engineer Kopra, suggests it may have come from the layer of the suit that is covered in tubes of flowing water, designed to cool the skin.
This layer is needed because without gravity, heat does not naturally move away from the skin.
The incident resembles that of a previous helmet leak, involving ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano.
In 2013, while working on a similar length spacewalk, the Italian astronaut was forced to abandon the mission after his helmet filled with liquid and posed a risk to his life.
Around four hours earlier, Tim Peake made history after becoming the first British astronaut to perform a spacewalk. The pair successfully replaced a faulty power unit outside the International Space Station.
The 43-year-old and Nasa astronaut Flight Engineer Kopra had just 31 minutes to install a new sequential shunt unit on the outside of the space station in a brief window of darkness as the ISS moved into the Earth’s shadow.
A carbon dioxide alarm inside Flight Engineer Kopra’s spacesuit triggered during the procedure but it is thought to have been caused by a faulty sensor rather than rising levels of the gas and the spacewalk continued.
However ‘conservative flight rules’ dictate that once water is detected inside a crew member’s suit, a spacewalk must be terminated.
Nasa stressed ‘the crew are not in any danger,’ but around four hours 10 minutes into the spacewalk, announced:’we’re in a terminate case’.
Flight Engineer Kopra got feeling of dampness around helmet absorption pad, before reporting a golf ball-sized water bubble spreading across his visor quickly.
Major Peake was tasked with taking an inventory and collecting up the astronauts’ tools as well as tying down the piece of cable he was working on.
The pair entered the airlock and had to wait for it to be depressurised, before the waiting astronauts could assist Flight Engineer Kopra with removing his wet helmet and suit.
After that, US astronaut Scott Kelly used a syringe to collect a water sample and recover any evidence of water in the helmet. He managed to recover 15 millilitres. Here, he checks to see whether Flight Engineer Kopra’s suit is dry. Tim Peake can be seen with his helmet off
After the aborted spacewalk, Tim Peake can be seen without his helmet on, o the right-hand side of the image, while Scott Kelly makes the checks necessary at the end of a spacewalk
After that, US astronaut Scott Kelly used a syringe to collect a water sample and recover any evidence of water in the helmet. He managed to recover 15 millilitres.
The helmet absorption pad will be preserved and analysed at later date to work out why the bubble formed.
Mission controllers decided to cut short the spacewalk fearing a repeat of an incident that saw Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano nearly drowned when water from his spacesuit’s cooling system leaked into his helmet during a spacewalk in 2013.
British astronaut Tim Peake had his historic spacewalk cut short this afternoon after his American colleague Tim Kopra reported water building up in his helmet. The pair are pictured fixing the broken power unit on the International Space Station
Both astronauts are currently making their way back to the airlock, two thirds of the way through the scheduled spacewalk. They are pictured here safely inside the ISS before the space walk began
In the abdense of gravity, flight engineer Parmitano found water covered his eyes, mouth and nose, making it hard for him to see and breath.
When his helmet was removed, astronauts found 1.5 litres of water had filled the helmet.
Flight Engineer Parmitano said at the time that it felt like being a ‘goldfish in a fishbowl’.
Tim Peake made history today as the first British astronaut to perform a spacewalk that saw him help to replace a faulty power unit outside the International Space Station. Major Peake joined Flight Engineer Kopra at the far-end of the International Space Station to tackle the repair. This photograph shows him laying out his tools and preparing to repair a faulty power unit in a round 45 minutes time
There was a brief moment of drama when with the clock ticking, the pair struggled to get the new unit installed properly but Major Peake managed to take a moment out of helping his colleague to take a selfie (shown above moments after the photograph was taken
This shot shows Major Peake grasping a tool in his gloved hand. It’s possible to see the dazzling blue of the Earth beneath him
‘We could see some water trickling into my helmet. Then I felt it covering my ears and at that point we called a halt to the EVA.
‘I started going back to the airlock, the water kept trickling until it completely covered my eyes and nose. It was really hard to see and I couldn’t hear anything.
He had to feel his way blindly back to the airlock beacuse he was blinded by the water.
If the water had continued to spread across his face and further cover his mouth and nostrels, Flight Engineer Parmitano could have died.
Speaking after the event, he said: ‘For me the worst part was that I was miserable but OK. Imagine walking around with your eyes closed in a fish bowl.
‘It is a really uncomfortable feeling to be with your face under water for all that time,’ The Telegraph reported.
Nasa introduced new safety features into its spacesuits after the incident including an absorbent pad to help prevent similar issues reoccurring.
However, the incident with Flight Engineer Kopra will raise fears that the fault has still not been fixed.
Tim Peake’s wife Rebecca tweeted her husband: ‘Thank you for taking our boys with you into the vacuum of space’. This blurry image, seemingly snapped in Mission Control by his wife, shows a family photograph worn by Major Peake on his arm
This dimly-lit image shows Major Peake working against the clock to repair a faulty power unit on the far-end of the International Space Station (ISS), as it hurtles around the Earth
This vertigo-inducing shot shows Tim Peake space walking back to the ISS’ airlock, with the curvature of the Earth visible on the left
Captured by Major Peake’s head cam, this shot shows the astronaut using a hand rail to traverse the ISS back to the air lock
Mission control reported that the new SSU was working perfectly after being installed by the pair.
Earlier in the day, Major Peake, 43, emerged in to the vacuum of space in darkness as the space station moved into the shadow of the Earth. The two astronauts were just illuminated by the light from the space station and their helmets.
Shortly before Major Peake left the airlock, Commander Scott Kelly, who remained on board the space station, said: ‘It is really cool to see Union Jack to go outside. It has explored all over the world and now it is exploring space.’
Major Peake responded: ‘It is great to be wearing it. It is a privilege. A proud moment.’
This image shows Major Peake opening the air lock in order to stow the broken SSU unit and his tools inside. It almost looks like a film
Both astronauts took photos in space to mark the occasion. Major Peake is seen playing photographer in the image, with Tim Kopra’s instruction manual which likely includes repair tips seen in the foreground
Together with Flight Engineer Kopra, Major Peake replaced a faulty power unit outside the International Space Station. There was a brief moment of drama when with the clock ticking, the pair struggled to get the new unit installed properly (pictured)
Upon dropping off the broken SSU in the air lock, Tim Peake underwent a helmet and glove inspection (pictured)
Major Peake and Flight Engineer Kopra began their preparations by ‘pre-breathing’ which means inhaling pure oxygen, to purge their bodies of nitrogen.
The process stops astronauts getting a serious condition known as decompression sickness or ‘the bends’ when they leave the high pressure environment inside the ISS – which is similar to the Earth – to the lower pressure spacesuit.
The suit has to be operated at low pressure to prevent large pressure differences between inside the spacesuit and the vacuum of space.
By reducing the pressure differences between inside and outside of the spacesuit, it doesn’t need to be super heavy and cumbersome and it’s easier for astronauts to move their arms and legs in the spacesuit.
This image shows Major Peake by the ISS’ air lock. The image was taken by Flight Engineer Kopra’s head-mounted camera
This image shows both astronauts ready and waiting for the night pass to start replacing the Sequential Shunt Unit. It looks as if Flight Engineer Kopra is carrying a photograph of his family or friends with him (shown in the foreground)
After a slow start, Tim Peake got to work preparing the repair site and here, Flight Engineer Kopra documents the event by taking a photograph. You can see his camera in the bottom right of the image above
After completing the main objective of the spacewalk, Major Peake began the next task to lay cable outside the ISS (pictured)
The astronauts were then bundled into the ‘crew lock’ where the air is removed until it becomes almost a vacuum.
The process is a gradual one and while it goes on, the astronauts can check their communications systems and conduct checks on the suits.
Speaking to the duo inside the air lock, veteran astronaut Scott Kelly, who has spent almost a year aboard the ISS, said: ‘Good luck, you’ll do great’.
The pair placed their suits on ‘internal battery power’ in the vacuum, meaning the 192nd spacewalk officially begun for 6.48am CET.
Major Peake emerged from the ISS carrying a bag full of cables with him as he ventured outside the ISS.
As Flight Engineer Kopra made his way along the hand rails outside the space station, Major Peake waited with the replacement SSU near the airlock.
He said: ‘I’m just chilling out.’
He then attached his tether, to prevent him from floating off into space if he accidentally lost his grip during the spacewalk.
Major Peake and Tim Kopra (pictured in the foreground) reached the repair site with the SSU and arranged their tools so they could begin the repair work when the ISS passed into the Earth’s shadow
Tim Peake took his first ‘steps’ outside the International Space Station (pictured) to become the first official British astronaut to perform a spacewalk. Because the spacewalk is taking place in the dark it id difficult to distinguish the astronauts from one another
This image shows Tim Peake about to take his first ‘steps’ outside the International Space Station (ISS) to become the first official British astronaut to perform a spacewalk. He can be seen here about to leave the air lock
Major Peake (pictured during the ‘translation’ or space walk) joined Flight Engineer Kopra at the far-end of the ISS so they could begin their maintenance task as soon as it became dark enough
He suffered a minor delay after a piece of his tether snagged on a truss on the outside of the space station, but managed to complete the nail-biting walk along the exterior of the ISS to join Flight Engineer Kopra.
Once comfortably perched in a seemingly precarious position looking over Earth, the two astronauts tethered the replacement SSU and set out laying out their tools in the darkness.
They managed to steal a few precious minutes to take some photographs of the view and each other, with Major Tim taking a selfie while the two waited for the next spell of darkness to begin the repairs.
When it did, the duo quickly bolted the SSU into position, but it was too loose, forcing them to use a ratchet to tighten it, with just 15 minutes left.
They relied on tools including a powered screwdriver to install the replacement SSU, but didn’t run into enough problems to resort to using an emergency ‘toothbush’ to remove debris from the screw’s thread.
A carbon dioxide alarm inside Flight Engineer Kopra’s spacesuit triggered during the procedure but it is thought to have been caused by a faulty sensor rather than rising levels of the gas.
The astronauts faced a race against the clock to conduct the repair in brief moments of darkness as the space station hurtled around the Earth. This is the moment Major Peake left the ISS, filmed from outside the ISS (left) and inside (right) by Scott Kelly
Shortly before Major Peake left the airlock, Commander Scott Kelly, who remained on board the space station, said: ‘It is really cool to see Union Jack to go outside. It has explored all over the world and now it is going out into space. Tim Kopra is shown above
The pair placed their suits on ‘internal battery power’ in the vacuum, meaning the 192nd spacewalk officially begun for 6.48am CET
Mission control asked the Nasa astronaut to monitor his symptoms as they moved on to the next series of work of installing power cables and other apparatus on the outside of the space station.
They said: ‘We do think the signature looks like a failed CO2 sensor.’
Major Peake helped guide the new power unit into place, allowing the pair to complete the repairs some 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
He arrived safely back at the ISS’ air lock to stow the failed SSU unit and his tools, before starting on other maintenance tasks with Flight Engineer Kopra.
The duo then embarked on more maintenance work, revolving around them laying long lengths of cable.
Major Peake has previously said despite all his training, ‘nothing can fully prepare for the feeling of being outside a spacecraft’.
Writing on Twitter from orbit on Thursday night, the European Space Agency astronaut said: ‘Popping outside for a walk tomorrow. Exhilarated – but no time to dwell on emotions.’
Major Peake and Flight Engineer Kopra will have just 31 minute windows to install a new sequential shunt unit in total darkness outside the ISS.
Major Peake and flight engineer Kopra began their preparations by ‘prebreathing’ which means inhaling pure oxygen, to purge their bodies of nitrogen. Here the two have their suits on and are arranging their tools while waiting to enter the ‘crew lock’
The astronauts were locked inside the ‘crew lock’ which is a depressurisation chamber. The moment they placed their suits on ‘internal battery power’ in the vacuum, the spacewalk officially began
They must conduct the repair while the ISS is on the dark side of the Earth so they are not harmed by sparks that could fly from the space station’s solar arrays if they are producing power from sunlight.
While outside the ISS, the astronauts will be hurtling at 17,227mph (27,724km/h) above the surface of the Earth.
It takes 93 minutes for the ISS to orbit Earth once, so astronauts get to experience 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets each day.
Major Peake said the pair had spent the past week preparing their tools and rehearsing the spacewalk, known as Extravehicular Activities (EVAs), from inside the ISS.
He revealed that among the tools they will take outside with them to help install the new power unit is a modified toothbrush to help clean the connections.
Writing on his blog, Major Peake said: ‘In true The Martian style we fabricated a makeshift tool out of a toothbrush to clean the pinion thread if necessary.
Tim Peake pulled himself along the outside of the space station carrying a spare SSU and with the help of his colleague Nasa astronaut Tim Kopra, replaced the faulty unit with the new one. The planned sequence of events is shown above
This image shows Tim Peake putting on his spacesuit ahead of his historic spacewalk outside the International Space Station. He can be seen in the foreground, with US astronaut Scott Kelly ready to fit the jet pack, used in emergencies, onto the suit
It’s a struggle to sit the emergency jet pack onto Tim Kopra’s back in such a confined space and it’s possible to see the strain on experiences spacewalker Scott Kelly’s face
Writing on Twitter from orbit on Thursday night, the European Space Agency astronaut said: ‘Popping outside for a walk tomorrow. Exhilarated – but no time to dwell on emotions’
PREPARING FOR A SPACEWALK
Before the astronauts leave the safety of the space station they will then breathe pure oxygen for two hours to purge their bodies of nitrogen.
The spacesuit pressure is lower than in the Space Station and the drop could give them the ‘bends’, much like scuba divers rising too quickly to the sea surface.
Donning their spacesuits and safety equipment will take hours before they enter the airlock to reduce the pressure until it is safe to open the exterior hatch.
Each will require help to put on the awkward equipment and helmet.
‘In previous EVAs the bolt that keeps the SSU didn’t always turn smoothly and Nasa thinks this might be because the thread gets blocked with debris.
‘We have used virtual reality headsets to re-enact our operations and trained for the worst case scenario of becoming detached from the Space Station but I guess nothing can fully prepare for the feeling of being outside of a spacecraft in the vacuum of space.
‘Although I am exhilarated by tomorrow’s spacewalk I have no time to dwell on these emotions.’
Major Peake and Flight Engineer Kopra are expected to spend six and a half hours outside the space station during the EVA.
The repair of the power unit is expected to only take around 15 minutes if all goes smoothly, however, and they will spend the rest of the time laying new power cables and doing other work outside the ISS.
They are due to begin the spacewalk at 12.55pm GMT (7.55EST) and it will be broadcast live by Nasa.
Major Peake will exit the airlock and pull himself along rails fixed on the outside of the space station carrying a replacement SSU unit, which measures two and a half feet long, one foot wide and one and a half feet deep (70 x 30 x 46cm) weighing around 200 lbs (91 kg).
The site the duo are trying to reach is ‘about as far along the space station that you can go from the airlock’, or around 200 feet (61 metres).
The depressurisation process is a gradual one and will pause to let the astronauts check their communications systems and conduct checks on the suits. Here the astronauts are bundled into the crew lock
Astronaut Tim Peake (pictured in his space suit) is set to become the first Briton to conduct a spacewalk today. But he and fellow astronaut Tim Kopra will face a race against the clock to repair a power unit
HOW IS TIM PEAKE FEELING?
Esa astronaut Luca Parmitano, who spent 166 days aboard the ISS in 2013 and completed two spacewalks told MailOnline he thinks he knows exactly how Tim Peake’s feeling.
He explained they have similar backgrounds and were both helicopter test pilots before training together to go into space.
‘He’s excited because for any man who becomes an astronaut and EVA is the ultimate goal. It’s such a privilege.
‘He also feels a lot of responsibility. All astronauts want to perform well and it’s not just personal, you’ve had so much invested in you, financially and in terms of time.
‘He’s also wondering how he’s going to feel outside. He’s had a lot of training – he feels he’s ready from a knowledge point of view – but he’s wondering how he’ll feel and react.
‘I wish I could tell him now, you won’t feel like that [overwhelmed] and you’ll feel ok – you’ll be outstanding.’
Major Peake said: ‘The six hours and thirty minutes we will work on the Space Station’s hull are meticulously planned and Tim and I need to execute each step methodically.
‘Our tools and spacesuits are ready, with all of our tools either clipped onto our spacesuit’s ‘Mini Work-Station’ or stowed inside tool bags in the order we need them.
‘I can hear my trainers at the European Astronaut Centre and their constant drilling in my ears: “you stop, you drop” meaning that as soon as you stop moving from A to B you “drop” a tether – a short strap securing you to the nearest handrail.
‘In space, if it isn’t fixed down it will float away, and that includes ourselves.
‘As we move to the furthest edge of the Space Station we will be attached to an anchor point by a thin steel wire on a reel, called a Safety Tether.
‘These thin steel wires are a double-edged sword however as we must remain vigilant to not get them tangled up.’
The British astronaut, 43, has been on board the ISS for just over one month after blasting off from Kazakhstan in a Soyuz rocket and is said to have ‘adapted very well’.
He is the second British citizen to travel into space after Helen Sharman travelled to the Russian Mir Space Station in 1991.
Although there have been other British born astronauts, they have all had to become US citizens in order to fly into space.
Michael Foale was the first person to be born in Britain to perform a spacewalk in 1995 when he climbed outside the space shuttle Discovery.
Piers Sellers, another Nasa astronaut who was the second British born person to perform a spacewalk, told the Guardian looking down on Earth during an EVA was like ‘God’s eye view’.
The site they are trying to reach is ‘about as far along the space station that you can go from the airlock’, or around 200 feet (61 metres). The large circle shows the site of the SSU and the smaller one, the airlock
Tim Peake has said he’s looking forward to the spacewalk views and has snapped many views of Earth. This is on he’s shared on Twitter
However, astronauts have previously had difficulty installing SSU equipment, so this time the crew have made ‘contingency tools’ in a bid to get the job done quickly. ‘One of them is called the toothbrush tool,’ Dum said. He is pictured above with the simple-looking device
DO ASTRONAUTS GET HUNGRY?
Spacewalks can last for around six hours.
Parmitano told MailOnline explained spacewalks are a lot of hard work and Peake and Kopra will work through lunch without a snack.
‘You need a lot of physical strength but Tim won’t have any snacks.
‘He better have a breakfast of champions,’ Parmitano quipped, adding’once he’s back inside he’ll be ready to eat a cow, if there was one.’
He explained astronauts have three quarters of a litre of water and need to stay hydrated, but not drink too much.
Is this happens, they can relieve themselves saefely in their ‘mags’ which is like a nappy, worn underneath the astronaut equivalent of long johns and a garent with a flow of cooling water to keep them cool and stop heat ‘clinging’ to the skin.
He said: ‘For most astronauts, EVA is the holy grail, the thing you most want to do at some point in your career.
‘If you look straight ahead through your visor, you can’t see the edges of your helmet, and it’s like you are hanging there 220 miles above the Earth, moving at five miles per second seeing over a thousand miles in every direction.’
Major Peake himself has spoken himself about looking forward to enjoying the view outside the space station.
At a press conference held shortly after arriving at the space station, he said: ‘When I went to the Cupola [an observatory module in the ISS] yesterday, I watched a sunset and a sunrise at different times. It was incredible,’ he explained.
‘To be out there on a spacewalk when that actually happens will be the most spectacular thing ever.’
But Major Peake is unlikely to get much time to enjoy the view.
Writing on his blog: ‘As soon as we exit the airlock we will keep check on each other.
‘The helmet in our EMU suits does not move, so I rely on Tim to check nothing is caught or snagging, as Tim relies on me to check his back.
‘Spacewalks, like many critical operations, operate on the buddy-buddy system.
‘Tim and I will constantly be checking each other and relying on each other for assistance if something should go wrong.
‘So having completed all of our training and preparations – it’s finally time to go for a walk. See you on the other side of the airlock, we have already packed our toothbrush!’
Major Peake has taken a lead role in the preparation for the repair mission by testing and preparing a spare sequential shunt unit (SSU) that will replace a faulty one.
SSUs are responsible for receiving power from the solar arrays and regulating the voltage on the space lab, 249 miles (400km) above Earth.
Tim Peake, 43 (pictured), has been on board the ISS for just over one month after blasting off from Kazakhstan in a Soyuz rocket and is said to have ‘adapted very well’
Astronaut Scott Kelly, who is nearing the end of his year-long stay on the ISS tweeted about the spacewalk, including a beautiful shot of the Earth below. He said the ‘UK will have a new star out there’
On December 23 he connected power and data cables to the spare SSU before putting power through the unit to confirm it was in working order.
On Christmas Eve he conducted further preparations before stowing the spare unit safely ahead of the walk.
There is much at stake because there is only one spare SSU aboard the ISS – with just one more remaining on Earth.
The task to repair one of the ISS’ eight power channels will be done against the clock, because it has to happen during the night.
Paul Dum, lead spacewalk officer, Nasa, explained: ‘One of the key challenges of replacing the SSU is that it has to happen at night because we need to protect the crew from the power that would come from the array.
‘So this time pressure means it’s critical that the crew is ready to step into contingency procedures quickly if necessary. The crew has practiced hard and are ready to go.’
Flight Engineer Kopra will make the journey to the repair site first, connecting the safety tethers to the ISS to stop them floating away and then install a foot restraint and stow tools in an accessible place to make the job easier.
Major Peake will join him as the duo are plunged into darkness at the repair site. They will work by torchlight to install the new SSU and bolt it onto the ISS.
Major Peake will conduct the first spacewalk of 2016. Last month he helped to support two Nasa astronauts last month as they performed an emergency spacewalk to unjam a railcar on the outside of the space station (pictured). He helped them put on their spacesuits and provided vital contact from inside the space station
The spacewalk will happen in darkness so the astronauts won’t be at risk from sparking when the ISS’ solar panels. This image of darkness and a distant sunrise was taken by Major Peake from within the safety of the ISS
WHAT DOES A SPACEWALK FEEL LIKE?
Parmitano, who has completed two space walks, told MailOnline the feeling is exhilarating and ‘the opposite of nauseous.
‘It’s fun in the same way as doing something like camping, that’s enjoyable but a lot of work,’ he explained.
Although the activity is known as spacewalking, astronauts use their hands to ‘translate’ from one point to another.
‘The suit is pressurised so every time you bend anything you’re fighting against the pressure. Bending your fingers is like squeezing a tennis ball – after hours it can be very fatiguing,’ he said.
Royce Renfrew, ISS spacewalk flight director, suggested the spacewalk should not be dangerous as long as the work is completed in darkness.
‘Solar arrays generate electricity out of sunlight. When it’s not in sunlight it’s not generating any electricity.
‘…we don’t know what caused it [the SSU] to fail it could have a short inside it.
‘So what we don’t want to do is remove it with a potential short that could cause arcing and sparking as it comes off.’
Arcing is the electrical breakdown of a gas that produces an ongoing plasma discharge.
He continued: ‘So we do it during the night pass when we can guarantee there’s absolutely no power flowing through there because there’s no sun to generate any electricity.’
Dum said: ‘It’s as simple as turning a bolt to install the SSU.’
The job is predicted to take around 15 minutes if everything goes to plan, giving them plenty of time to move away from the area before the solar panels begin generating electricity again, which could put their lives at risk.
If there are problems, the crew will ‘slow down and stop using a power tool and start using a ratchet wrench so see whether they can get a better feel to see if the bond is working,’ Mr Dum said, adding that they could use the ‘toothbrush’.
Mr Refrew said the night passes are 31 minutes long, so work has to be completed in this window.
‘In reality, if we don’t get the SSU done in the first eclipse pass, we’ll fall back onto the second eclipse pass then the third one to get it done, and the rest of the stuff will fall off the timeline,’ he said.
The astronauts will have to tether the SSU to the ISS if daylight is fast approaching, but it will be important is not too close to the ISS, other electrics or sparks may fly.
It’s thought Major Peake’s wife, Rebecca will watch the spacewalk outside of the UK, possibly at Nasa in Houston, Texas. She shared a sweet Tweet (above) showing the concern of one of Major Peake’s sons for the astronaut
Once the job is complete, Major Peake will carry the broken SSU back to the airlock and the duo will go on to do more maintenance work if there is time, including installing a vent in a tight space on the other side of the ISS.
The spacewalkers could lay cables in advance of new docking ports and reinstall a valve that was removed for the relocation of the Leonardo module last year.
Luca Parmitano, an ESA astronaut who spent 166 days aboard the ISS in 2013 as part of the Voloare mission and completed two spacewalks, told MailOnline Major Peake will be feeling ‘excited’ ahead of his spacewalk, ‘because for any man who becomes an astronaut an EVA is the ultimate goal. It’s such a privilege.’
He also said the astronaught will be feeling the burden of responsibility to fix the SSU.
‘He’s had a lot of training – he feels he’s ready from a knowledge point of view – but he’s wondering how he’ll feel and react, Flight engineer Parmitano suggested.
He added: ‘Space is the most amazing adventure. I’m so happy the UK is concentrating on Tim’s mission – he’s awesome.’
Chris Hadfield, who famously sung David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ on the ISS, tweeted Major Peake: ‘See the world for us, Tim’ (above)
A handout photograph made available by Nasa showing Expedition 46 Flight Engineer Tim Kopra on the spacewalk. Astronauts had to guide the stalled rail car just four inches back into place after releasing the brake handle, and then latch it back to its rightful spo
Earlier this week, Major Peake tweeted some photos of his final suit check before the spacewalk (shown above). He is seen smiling inside the helmet and said the suit ‘feels just great
CHILDRENS’ TV STAR MISS MOUSE JOINS MAJOR PEAKE AT SPACE STATION
British astronaut Tim Peake was joined on the ISS by BBC childrens’ TV character Miss Mouse.
He shared a picture of the floating character from his Twitter account, despite being hours away from his historic spacewalk.
Miss Mouse, the knitted toy character from the CBeebies Show Me Show Me programme, has been educating young viewers on astronaut training during the week, and in today’s episode will join Major Peake in her ‘most exciting adventure to date’.
Kay Benbow, Controller of CBeebies, said: ‘We are so proud that Miss Mouse has travelled to the space station with Tim Peake.
‘Here’s hoping Tim’s stocked up on the dehydrated cheese for our brave explorer.’