British astronaut Tim Peake beams home first selfie from his spacewalk
You can catch all of the action live as two astronauts venture outside of the International Space Station to replace a failed voltage regulator.
The pair ended its spacewalk at 12:31 p.m. EST with the repressurization of the U.S. Quest airlock following an early termination after Kopra reported a small water bubble had formed inside his helmet.
Copra, Expedition 46’s flight engineer, and Peak practiced the spacewalk for months on Earth at NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas, and have spent the last few weeks in space working intensively to prepare their suits and tools for the mission, according to NASA.
NASA tightened its flight rules after a spacesuit worn by Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano leaked during a spacewalk in July 2013, almost causing him to drown.
NASA said neither astronaut was in immediate danger, but mission managers chose to terminate the walk for safety reasons.
The planned six-hour spacewalk by International Space Station astronauts Tim Peake of the United Kingdom and veteran space walker Tim Kopra was cut short today when Kopra developed a build-up of water in his space helmet due to a spacesuit coolant system malfunction.
Mission Control said the spare – dubbed Dusty for its 17-year tenure in orbit – appeared to be working properly. The discovery of water in a United States astronaut’s helmet brought an early end yesterday to the first ever galactic walkabout by his British colleague, astronaut Tim Peake, Nasa said.
As Peake floated out, space station commander Scott Kelly called, “Hey Tim, it’s really cool seeing that Union Jack go outside”. Former Beatle Paul McCartney said via Twitter.
Major Peake replied: “It’s great to be wearing it. A privilege, a proud moment”.
Colonel Kopra’s helmet-absorption pad, along with a sample of the water bubble taken with a syringe, will be analysed to determine what caused it to form.
Peake, a helicopter pilot chosen by the European Space Agency, is Britain’s first official astronaut. The first British citizen to fly in space was chemist Helen Sharman. After Parmitanos leak, NASA added absorbent pads to the helmet and put in place other precautions for future spacewalks.
Michael López-Alegría, a NASA astronaut with the most cumulative spacewalk hours, told BBC News the astronauts were well prepared for the mission.
“This is how I measure success”, he tweeted, “1)crew-safe 2)main objective-completed”.