NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore (Expedition 42 Commander) and Terry Virts (Expedition 42 Flight Engineer) recently completed their third spacewalk, scheduled to prepare the space station for commercial crew arrivals. The objective of these extravehicular activities (EVA) was to lay cables to ready the International Space Station (ISS) for two international docking adapters (IDAs) scheduled to arrive this year. NASA anticipates the first port to arrive in June and the second in December. The new docking ports will enable the expansion of the station crew to hold seven people and could potentially double the amount of time devoted to research.
During the first spacewalk on Februrary 21, Barry Wilmore and Terry Vits successfully installed and routed more than 300 feet of cable, which took 6 hours and 41 minutes to complete. These cables will provide power and communication capabilities for the new international docking adapters.