NASA spacewalk watch LIVE – Astronauts Kayla Barron and Raja Chari spend SIX HOURS on daring space mission upgrading ISS

A TEAM of daring Nasa astronauts is conducting a spacewalk today.

Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari are conducting the Tuesday, March 15, spacewalk, designated US EVA 79, and are working on assembling and installing modification kits required for upcoming solar array upgrades on the International Space Station, according to Nasa.

The mission can be streamed live on Nasa's YouTube page.

According to Nasa, the purpose of the mission is to "install brackets and struts to support the future installation of an ISS Roll-Out Solar Array".

The spacewalk is the second of Barron’s career and the first for Chari.

Read our Nasa spacewalk live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Amanda Castro

    Who is Kayla Barron? part three

    Barron was chosen for Nasa Astronaut Group 22 in June 2017 and began her two-year training in July.

    She is the fifth woman to be chosen as an astronaut candidate from the Naval Academy.

    She is preparing for the SpaceX Crew-3 mission, where she will serve as a mission specialist aboard the International Space Station.

    On November 10, 2021, she took off on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule called Endurance.

  • Amanda Castro

    Who is Kayla Barron? continued

    Barron was a part of the Midshipmen cross country and track teams at the Naval Academy.

    Barron went on to Peterhouse, Cambridge, on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship after graduation, where she got a master's degree in nuclear engineering.

    Her graduation study focused on simulating the fuel cycle for a next-generation, thorium-fueled nuclear reactor idea known as an accelerator-driven subcritical reactor, which was motivated by a desire to address anthropogenic climate change.

  • Amanda Castro

    Who is Kayla Barron?

    Born September 19, 1987, Kayla Barron is a NASA astronaut and submarine warfare officer.

    Kayla Barron was born in Pocatello, Idaho on September 19, 1987, to Lauri and Scott Sax.

    Her family relocated to Richland, Washington, where she received her high school diploma in 2006.

    Barron went on to the United States Naval Academy after high school, where she earned a bachelor's degree in systems engineering in 2010.

  • Amanda Castro

    Who is Elon Musk?

    Born June 28, 1971, Elon Musk is a business mogul and entrepreneur.

    He is the co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI, as well as the founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer of SpaceX.

    Musk is also an early-stage investor, CEO, and Product Architect of Tesla, Inc., and the creator of The Boring Company.

    He is the world’s wealthiest individual, according to both the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and the Forbes real-time billionaires list, with an estimated net worth of roughly $224billion as of February 2022.

  • Amanda Castro

    SpaceX achievements

    SpaceX’s accomplishments include:

    • The first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach Earth orbit
    • The first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft
    • The first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station
    • The first vertical take-off and vertical propulsive landing for an orbital rocket
    • The first reuse of an orbital rocket
    • The first private company to send astronauts to orbit and to the International Space Station
    • The Falcon 9 series of rockets has been flown over a hundred times by SpaceX.

    When was SpaceX founded?

    Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known widely as SpaceX, is a Hawthorne, California-based aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services provider, and communications company.

    Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with the purpose of lowering space transportation costs so that Mars may be colonized.

    The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, as well as various rocket engines, the Cargo Dragon, crew spacecraft, and Starlink communications satellites, are all manufactured by SpaceX.

    SpaceX planning commercial spacewalk, continued

    The real SpaceX commercial spacewalk will be part of a three-mission program employing the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Crew Dragon capsule and will seek to work similarly to Isaacman's initial trip.

    This mission is intended to last five days, with Isaacman and his team aiming to reach the greatest height for crewed Earth orbit ever flown.

    The current holder of the distinction is NASA's Gemini 11 mission, which flew as high as 1,374 kilometers above the Earth in 1966.

    SpaceX planning commercial spacewalk

    SpaceX intends to conduct its first-ever commercial spacewalk later this year, with just civilians participating instead of actual astronauts.

    Wealthy entrepreneur Jared Isaacman will conduct the spacewalk.

    Isaacman was part of SpaceX's first all-civilian crew during the historic Inspiration4 crew's short flight into orbit last year.

    Isaacman is the CEO and founder of Shift4 Payments, which has reportedly earned him the job of assisting in the planning of new space missions for the privately financed Polaris space program.

    What did Kayla Barron say after the walk?

    Barron hailed the Houston and ISS teams for assisting the two astronauts in overcoming challenges like a tether that wouldn't retract and Chari's difficulty finding footing early in the walk.

    She also said that colleague astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who was working inside the station, had recently set a new record for the longest U.S. spaceflight, clocking in at 340 days.

    • Amanda Castro

      ISS prepping for upgraded solar array

      After two NASA astronauts performed a nearly seven-hour spacewalk on Tuesday, the International Space Station is now ready to receive an improved solar array, according to Space.com.

      Kayla Barron and Raja Chari of Expedition 66 installed brackets and struts at the foot of one of the space station's eight original power-providing arrays, preparing the region for the future installation of an ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA).

      The support structure for the third of six additional arrays, and the first to be installed to the starboard side of the space station's backbone truss, was deployed on the S4 channel of the 3A solar wing.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      SpaceX could step in

      Following President Joe Biden's announcement of sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian politician Dimitry Rogozin, the man Vladimir Putin selected to be the head of Roscosmos, tweeted, "If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States and Europe?"

      Elon Musk weighed in by replying to Rogozin's threat with the SpaceX logo.

      When a Twitter user asked the billionaire if this meant SpaceX would keep the ISS from falling onto Earth, Musk replied: "Yes."

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      Russian cooperation for astronaut's return

      Nasa said Monday that astronaut Mark Vande Hei will return from the International Space Station later this month as planned, CNN reported.

      His return has been in question because he will need to be aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to return.

      Nasa said it's "still working closely with Russian space agency Rocosmos on the International Space Station, despite mounting geopolitical tensions," the outlet noted.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      'Spacewalk complete!'

      "Spacewalk complete! ✅" Nasa shared on Twitter at 3.58pm ET.

      "Astronauts Kayla Barron and @Astro_Raja concluded today’s spacewalk at 3:06pm ET (19:06 UTC), preparing the @Space_Station for more solar array upgrades. It was Barron’s second venture into the vacuum of space, and Chari’s first."

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      Russia sanctions threaten ISS

      The 23 year-long collaboration on the ISS between Russia and several other countries is feeling the pressure amid the ongoing invasion in Ukraine, threatening the future of the project.

      Russia's space chief has already threatened to allow the station to fall onto the US or Russia, in response to sanctions.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      How long will the spacewalk take?

      The spacewalk on Tuesday is expected to take several hours.

      CNN reported it is expected to last for six hours and 30 minutes at least.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      Barron's 'space-selfie'

      The International Space Station Instagram account shared a fun image of Flight Engineer Kayla Barron just a few days before she took part in the spacewalk on Tuesday.

      "NASA astronaut Kayla Barron points the camera at herself for an out-of-this-world 'space-selfie' during a spacewalk that took place on Dec. 2, 2021," the post read.

      View this post on Instagram

      A post shared by International Space Station (@iss)

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      When was the ISS launched?

      The International Space Station was launched in 1998.

      It involves the cooperation of the United Stats, Russia, Canada, Japan, and participating countries of the European Space Agency.

      "The International Space Station is one of the most complex international collaborations ever attempted," Nasa says on its website.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      History of astronauts on the ISS

      As of December 2021, 251 astronauts, cosmonauts, and space tourists have visited the International Space Station.

      They are from 19 different nations and some have visited multiple times.

      The list includes 155 Americans, 52 Russians, 11 Japanese, eight Canadians, five Italians, four French, four Germans, one Belgian, one Dutch, one Swede, one Brazilian, one Dane, one Kazakhstani, one Spaniard, one Briton, one Malaysian, one South African, one South Korean, and one Emirati, according to Nasa.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      ISS has two sections

      The International Space Station is divided into two sections: the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS), operated by Russia, and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is run by the United States as well as by the other states involved.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      Which countries are involved with the ISS?

      The International Space Station is a project involving five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      Hundreds watch spacewalk live

      At 12.30pm ET on Tuesday, over 700 people were watching the spacewalk live on YouTube.

      You can watch as Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari do work on the ISS right now as well.

      See the live video here.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      See the spacewalk live

      The Nasa YouTube channel is showing Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari doing work on the ISS right now.

      Check out the live video here.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      Tech on the ISS, continued

      "The International Space Station is about the size of a six-bedroom home based on its interior volume," said photographer Roland Miller, author of Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station.

      "That seems like a fairly finite environment, and I’m sure it feels that way to the astronauts and cosmonauts while they are aboard for five or six months."

      "For the Interior Space project to be successful, I knew I would have to get to know the station’s interior in great detail."

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      Tech on the ISS

      The International Space Station is packed with tech goodies.

      Technology includes a potable water dispenser onboard the ISS, which is considered an intelligent machine, a high-tech lab, and an isolated confined space.

      The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) Test Facility offers a number of different technological advances for astronauts to use onboard while in space.

      This includes HVAC, CO2 scrubbing, an oxygen generation system, and the urine recycling facility.

    • Josie Rhodes Cook

      What do astronauts drink on the ISS, continued

      That space toilet was launched off the coast of Virginia in early October on a rocket that headed to the International Space Station that can help astronauts reserve some water.

      However, because of the strong acids used in the toilet, there is only a handful of metals that can withstand them over time.

      Although titanium is one of those metals, it's fairly expensive. So Nasa went with a 3D printed technique to make titanium parts lighter than usual.

      Aerospace engineer Jim Fuller once joked: "When the astronauts have to go, we want to allow them to boldly go."

      And this isn't the first time that astronauts have been drinking their urine.

      They've been consuming the beverage on the ISS since 2009, but the recent addition of the toilet makes it that much more efficient and comfortable.

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