Successful spacewalk on moon-landing anniversary
On the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's famous touchdown on the surface of the moon, two American astronauts exited the International Space Station and successfully completed a spacewalk of their own.
David Wolf and Thomas Marshburn began the 215th spacewalk in NASA history on Monday when they stepped outside the station at 11:27 a.m. ET. They wrapped up six hours and 53 minutes later.
The duo completed most of their planned tasks, deferring a video camera setup to a future spacewalk.
Among other tasks, they removed three pieces of hardware from the station's exterior, before catching a ride on the station's robotic arm to an external stowage platform, where the items were re-attached for long-term storage.
Canadian astronaut Julie Payette operated the robotic arm throughout the operation.
It was the second spacewalk in three days for the astronauts, who arrived on Friday aboard the space shuttle Endeavour along with five other colleagues, including Canadian astronaut Julie Payette.
In terms of glamour, the spacewalk has nothing on NASA's 13th spacewalk, conducted 40 years to the day on Monday, when Armstrong and Aldrin stepped down onto the moon for the first time.
Endeavour's astronauts are scheduled to conduct three more spacewalks during their 16-day mission, the main focus of which is to install two platforms outside the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo experiment module at the space station.
Endeavour's arrival on Friday marked the first time two Canadians have ever worked together in space at the same time. Montreal-born Payette joined Robert Thirsk, a native of New Westminster, B.C., who had travelled to the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket that lifted off from a launch pad in Kazakhstan on May 27.
Thirsk, who is living on the station for six months, is the first Canadian to stay aboard the station for an extended period.