NASA Astronauts under go nearly 7-hour spacewalk

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NASA astronauts use a 6 ½ hour spacewalk to install a docking station for upcoming commercial space taxis, which will end U.S. reliance on Russia for rides to the orbiting outpost. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

NASA Astronauts under go nearly 7-hour spacewalk

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)

Two NASA astronauts left the International Space Station on Friday (August 19) for a 6-1/2-hour spacewalk to install a docking station for upcoming commercial space taxis, which will end U.S. reliance on Russia for rides to the orbiting outpost.

Station commander Jeff Williams and flight engineer Kate Rubins floated outside the station’s airlock and headed toward the berthing slip once used by NASA’s now-retired space shuttles, a NASA TV broadcast showed.

Since grounding the shuttle fleet in 2011, the United States has been dependent on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the space station, at a cost of more than $70 million per person.

During Friday’s spacewalk, Williams and Rubins will attach an adapter onto the shuttle’s docking port that will facilitate docking by commercial space taxis under development by Space Exploration Technologies and

Boeing to park at the station, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.

California-based SpaceX, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, plans to begin test flights of its new passenger Dragon capsule to the station in 2017.

Boeing’s debut flight of its CST-100 Starliner capsule is expected in 2018.

NASA had hoped to have the first of two new docking ports installed last year, but the equipment was destroyed during a SpaceX cargo ship launch accident in June 2015.

A replacement docking port is under construction and expected to be delivered to the station in early 2018.

Tags : Spacewalk, 7hour, Nearly, under, Astronauts, nasa

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