Astronauts were conducting a routine spacewalk when they encountered a major problem that required evasive action.
It was supposed to be a triumphant moment for Astronaut Peggy Wilson as she completed a record-breaking spacewalk on the International Space Station, but it quickly turned into an emergency that required evasive action. A piece of cloth shielding suddenly went floating away, prompting Wilson to report the problem to Mission Control at NASA, who will need to monitor the piece in case it comes flying back toward the space station.
It’s an important piece of shielding because it stops micrometeorite debris from damaging the ISS. It was one of four pieces that Whitson and Shane Kimbrough, the other astronaut working with her, had to install near the docking location on the space station. The three other shields were put in spots that protected the ISS’s most vulnerable areas in that location.
Whitson was clearly frustrated by the mishap in her communications with Mission Control, according to media reports, but it doesn’t change the fact that she is now the world’s oldest and most experienced woman in space with her eighth career spacewalk.