Tim Peake set for spectacular spacewalk

Tim Peake prepares his spacesuit

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12 January 2016

British ESA astronaut Tim Peake is currently on board the International Space Station and on 15 January he will use a high-tech spacesuit to venture outside!

This spacewalk isn’t just for fun though; Tim will be replacing a broken piece of equipment that lets the International Space Station use power generated from huge solar panels. Tim is already busy at work preparing his spacesuit and all the tools he’ll need. Every step is prepared and practised in advance.

Tim Peake will be joined on this spacewalk by fellow astronaut Tim Kopra. Before starting their spacewalk the Tims will spend two hours breathing pure oxygen. This is so that the lower pressure inside the spacesuits won’t be harmful to them. Deep sea divers do the same thing!

Astronaut Reid Wiseman

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Once outside, the two Tims will check each other’s suits to make sure that all their equipment is properly attached and easy to reach. Then they can begin their six-hour mission! Such a long time is needed to complete the delicate work safely and properly. Station commander Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Sergei Volkov will stay inside the International Space Station, but will be in constant communication with their spacewalking crewmates.

Once the mission is accomplished Tim Peake will have completed his first ever spacewalk, and the International Space Station will be fully powered once more. The two Tims will return inside where their crewmates will help them to get out of their spacesuits. Only then can the spacewalkers enjoy a much deserved break!

For more updates, check out Tim Peake’s mission blog: http://blogs.esa.int/tim-peake

Cool fact: Astronauts hardly move their legs during spacewalks. Instead, they use their arms to pull themselves along. This is called “translating”.

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