Astronauts go spacewalking to hang station shields
In this image provided by NASA the Expedition 32 crew onboard the International Space Station, flying an altitude of approximately 240 miles, recorded a series of images of Aurora Australis, also known as the Southern Lights, on July 15, 2012. (AP Photo/NASA, Joe Acaba)
Published Monday, August 20, 2012 12:49PM EDT
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Astronauts are spacewalking outside the International Space Station for the first time in half a year.
Monday's spacewalk got started late because of a leaky valve on the Russian side of the orbiting outpost. The crew had to reopen the air lock and check the seals to ensure a tight fit, before Russians Gennady Padalka and Yuri Malenchenko could go out. Padalka assured Moscow flight controllers they were in no rush. But he admitted it was boring to wait an extra hour.
The two spacewalking pros will attach shields to protect against space junk. The panels were supposed to go up during a spacewalk in February, but got put on hold. The men also will move a crane and release a small satellite, all Russian-based work.