Space Station Sunday: Extravehicular Awesomeness And Even More ISS History

Good afternoon, space fans!  Welcome back to all the best news from 220 miles up.

There's no speed limits in space.
(Image courtesy

This week on the ISS, another sucessfull spacewalk was conducted by NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren.  The spacewalk began on Friday at 7:10 AM EST and was the second successful space venture for Kelly and Lindgren in as many weeks.

Seasoned space veterans Kelly and Lindgren take another daring walk outside.
(Image courtesy

The astronauts spent six and a half hours on their EVA (extravehicular activity), attending to a port truss cooling system.  Ammonia levels were regulated for both the main and backup system.  The ammonia pump had been replaced in 2013 after a leak-detecting exercise in 2012 found it lacking, and the full system was now restored to its original configuration.  Two previous spacewalk missions had worked on the issue.

The proper cooling of the system is important to station life, as it gathers the heat from sources on the station and disseminates it properly.  According to NASA, "The Photovoltaic Thermal Control System dissipates heat generated at the space station from radiators attached to the truss structure."  This includes the abundance of solar heat that the station attracts.

Bust out with you truss out.
(Image courtesy Alexander Gerst/ESA.)

This was the 190th spacewalk completed on the ISS since its initial construction 15 years ago.  Want to know more about the sensations involved while spacewalking?  Astronaut Douglas Wheelock did a fascinating Q&A with National Geographic this week to describe some of the impressions his cavorting in orbit left him with.  Turns out spacesuits are smelly, itches aren't always scratchable, and temperatures can get weird...but that it's also just as awesome as it looks (and it always looks pretty awesome.)

That's a lot of strolling in the stars.
(Image courtesy

In celebration of the station's 15-year anniversary, NASA has compiled a great archive of the space station's stunning history and growth story.  They also celebrated the milestone in a fun collection of GIFs.  Keep up keeping up!

Humanity's greatest work in progress.
(Image courtesy
That's all for this week, space fans!  We'll see you next Sunday with even more excellence from orbit.  Watch this space!

The Earth approved of astronaut Kelly and Lindgrens' spacewalk.
(Image courtesy Scott Kelly /

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