Spokane native and NASA astronaut Anne McClain participated in her second spacewalk of the year on Monday.
McClain and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency worked to upgrade the International Space Station power systems and expand wireless communications coverage for the ISS. The power update also helps to supply the space station’s robotic arm.
The spacewalk began at about 4:31 a.m. on Monday and continued for more than six hours until it ended at 11 a.m.
Monday’s spacewalk marks the third in less than a month for the Expedition 59 crew and the second of 2019 for McClain. It is the last spacewalk in a series of three for the crew.
On March 22, the first spacewalk of 2019 was completed by McClain and Hague. On March 29, astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch set out on the second spacewalk.
A spacewalk is the equivalent of running a marathon, according to Hague. He said astronauts wear spacesuits for nearly 12 hours and only have 32 ounces of water.
In March, McClain was set to take part in what would have been the first all-female spacewalk. NASA announced that it would not happen due to an assignment change stemming from spacesuit availability.
NASA tweeted that they have more than one medium spacesuit torso aboard the International Space Station but needed to change spacewalker assignments rather than reconfigure spacesuits for safety reasons and to stay on schedule with upgrades.
On Twitter, McClain said NASA’s decision was based on her recommendation.
In early April, McClain, along with fellow astronauts Hague and Christina Koch, appeared on the Today Show. McClain addressed the cancelled spacewalk while speaking with anchors on the NBC show.
Last week, Russia’s “Progress” cargo carrying nearly four tons of fuel, food and other supplies successfully docked at the ISS. Next week, the Cyngus spacecraft will resupply the ship after launching from Virginia for a two-day journey.
Later this month, the SpaceX Dragon cargo will be making a trip to the crew.