Two U.S. astronauts will step out into space at 9:20 a.m. for a two-and-a-half hour spacewalk on Wednesday. Steve Swanson and Rick Mastracchio will install a backup computer on the exterior of the International Space Station, and remove a broken one.
NASA, as always, is broadcasting the spacewalk live. You can watch below:
This is the fifth spacewalk for Swanson. It's the ninth for Mastracchio. Watching the video, Swanson is the astronaut designated as EV 2, in a suit without stripes. Mastracchio is EV 1, and his suit has red stripes.
Although everything's expected to go smoothly today, the Washington Post has an interesting piece on why it's inaccurate to think of spacewalks and other "routine" tasks performed in space as just part of a day's work:
Spacewalking is never a lark. There are elaborate instructions on what to do. For first-time spacewalkers in particular, the view can be disorienting and intimidating. This is not like doing a spacewalk in the cargo bay of the space shuttle. On the ISS, there’s nothing between you and the ground 250 miles below. Yeah, sure, take that next big step. You think astronauts never get cold feet?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.