Houston: Indian-American NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and her Japanese counterpart Akihiko Hoshide have successfully restored power to the International Space Station on their second attempt.
With this Spacewalk, Williams surpassed Peggy Whitson’s record during yesterday’s excursion for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut.
Whitson worked outside for 39 hours and 46 minutes over the course of six spacewalks. Williams has conducted six spacewalks for a total of 44 hours and 2 minutes. Peggy Whitson, sent up congratulations: “You go, girl!” Williams replied: “Anybody could be in these boots.”
The astronauts had to go into space for the second time in less than a week. The spacewalk lasted 6 hours 28 minutes.
Williams and Hoshide have finally completed repairs on the main power unit switching mechanism, the repairing of which ran into problems earlier this week.
As a result of the faults in the system, the astronauts had to save energy by turning off part of the solar cells and de-energised some compartments of the station.
This was the second attempt to correct the problem.
Earlier, last Thursday, Williams and Hoside were in space for more than eight hours, but failed to fix the unit and attach it correctly to the ISS.