Sunita Williams Completes her Sixth Spacewalk; Breaks Peggy Whitson’s Record
Sunita Williams Completes her Sixth Spacewalk; Breaks Peggy Whitson’s RecordReuters

NASA flight engineers Sunita Williams along with Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide completed their second space walk in less than a week on Wednesday.

Indian-American astronaut Williams and her counterpart Hoshide successfully completed the installation of a Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) that was hampered last week by a possible misalignment and damaged threads where a bolt must be placed, NASA said.

Apart from restoring power they also set up a camera on the International Space Station's (ISS) robotic arm, Canadarm2.

Joe Acaba, who is serving as flight engineer onboard the space station, operated the camera "Canadarm 2". He also monitored the spacewalkers from inside ISS.

The recent spacewalk lasted six hours and 28 minutes, while last Thursday they were in space for eight hours and 17 minutes, making it the third longest spacewalk in US spaceflight history. At first, the space mission was scheduled for 6.5 hours before the astronauts faced problems to install the MBSU. 

Last week, William and Hoshide were unable to set up a new MBSU on the ISS's s-zero trusses.

After removing and storing the failed unit, the spacewalkers had complications driving the bolts to secure the replacement switching unit in the s-zero trusses, NASA said.

Wednesday's spacewalk was the sixth for Williams and second for Hoshide, who is the third Japanese astronaut to conduct spacewalk in history.

On Wednesday, Williams broke Peggy Whitson's record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut. Both the astronauts have conducted six spacewalks. While Whitson has worked for 39 hours and 46 minutes, Williams has worked for a total of 44 hours and 2 minutes. 

Whitson sent up congratulations: "You go, girl!" to which Williams replied: "Anybody could be in these boots."

Sunita Williams Completes her Sixth Spacewalk; Breaks Peggy Whitson’s Record
Sunita Williams Completes her Sixth Spacewalk; Breaks Peggy Whitson’s Record
Sunita Williams Completes her Sixth Spacewalk; Breaks Peggy Whitson’s Record
Sunita Williams Completes her Sixth Spacewalk; Breaks Peggy Whitson’s Record