After having already spent spent four months in space, David Saint-Jacques found it hard to express his feelings on his first spacewalk saying, “What a view. Words are missing.”
Six and half hours after turning on their spacesuit battery packs and exiting the International Space Station’s Quest airlock, David Saint-Jacques and American Anne McClain went to work.
During that time they were allowed to spend a few moments enjoying a very rare look at the Earth and the space surrounding them with only the millimetres thickness of their helmet visors separating them from the vacuum of space.
— David Saint-Jacques (@Astro_DavidS) April 9, 2019
The work they successfully completed was part of the ongoing maintenance needed to keep the space station operating in tip-top shape while also upgrading it to extend its longevity.
Specifically according to NASA “the two astronauts successfully established a redundant path of power to the Canadian-built robotic arm, known as Canadarm2, and installed cables to provide for more expansive wireless communications coverage outside the orbital complex, as well as for enhanced hardwired computer network capability. The duo also relocated an adapter plate from the first spacewalk in preparation for future battery upgrade operations.”
David Saint-Jacques spacewalk highlights
This was the third spacewalk of Expedition 59 in the last month.
- March 22 was the first spacewalk for NASA astronauts Hague and McClain. McClain became the 13th female spacewalker in history.
- March 29 also was the first spacewalk for NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who became the 14th female to complete a spacewalk.
- Space station crew members have conducted 216 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 56 days 10 hours and 53 minutes working outside the station.
Saint-Jacques became only the fourth Canadian astronaut to spacewalk overall. Dr. Dave Williams (2007) was the last Canadian spacewalker, 12 years ago. During the STS-118 Space Shuttle mission, Williams completed three spacewalks, and holds the record of 17 hours and 47 minutes for Canadian spacewalkers. The other two Canadians who completed spacewalks were Chris Hadfield (2001) and Steve MacLean (2006).
Watch the full spacewalk