Astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Terry Virts recently completed two space walks outside the International Space Station (ISS) while wearing GoPro cameras that captured what it’s like to install antennas and rewire cables while floating 249 miles above Earth. The work may be a bit mundane, but the views are absolutely stunning.
Previously, only one Space Shuttle visited the ISS at a time, but with commercial crewed missions planned in the near future, the ISS will undergo several upgrades this year. There is currently only one docking port that is suitable for receiving manned crews. Existing docks for cargo vehicles won’t work because they require bolting the vehicles to the station, which would put a commercial crew at risk because they could not quickly exit in case an emergency evacuation is needed. So Wilmore and Virts are preparing the station for a new docking system, and thanks to their cameras, you can watch them in action.
The first extravehicular activity (EVA) was completed in February to reconfigure exterior of the ISS. Virts and Wilmore routed ten different cables, Virts lubricated elements of the space station’s robotic arm, and Wilmore prepared the Tranquility module for additional upgrades to the space station’s ports later this year. In the second video, the astronauts routed 400 feet of cabled and installed antennas that Boeing and SpaceX will use to communicate with the orbital laboratory as they deliver crews to the space station in 2017.