Discovery Astronauts Begin First Spacewalk of Mission
Although they've become "routine," a spacewalk is anything but. The training and preparations for becoming a spacewalker are arduous.
The work is always risky. There's no such thing as just "dinging" your thumb while doing construction work outside a space shuttle or the International Space Station.
Spacewalking astronauts floated outside the international space station Tuesday to help install the orbiting outpost's newest room, a bus-sized Japanese laboratory.
During a scheduled 6½ hour spacewalk, astronauts Michael Fossum and Ronald Garan Jr. will prep the $1 billion lab, named Kibo — Japanese for hope — for installation by removing power and heating cables and various restraints that connect it to the shuttle.
Later in the day, astronauts working from inside will use the space station's robot arm to lift the bus-size lab from the shuttle and anchor it to the station