Astrophotographer Snaps Incredible Photo of Astronauts on a Spacewalk from Earth

From Earth, astronomers frequently capture magnificent photos of faraway galaxies, planets, and moons. Last week, though, Dr. Sebastain Voltmer recorded something completely different, yet as stunning. While astronauts Matthias Maurer and Raja Chari were outside completing a spacewalk, he took photos of the International Space Station (ISS). This might be the first photograph from the ground that shows two astronauts performing a spacewalk at the same time. On March 23, the shot was taken at Sankt Wendel, Germany. Maurer, a member of the European Space Agency (ESA), was born and raised in this town. 

The spacewalk was Maurer’s first, and he worked on a variety of chores with NASA’s Chari, including fixing an external camera, putting a new power connection on the Columbus module, and changing hoses on a radiator beam valve module. This final one is critical for the mechanism that maintains the proper temperature of the space station. The extravehicular exercise, which lasted a total of six hours and 54 minutes, was undoubtedly interesting for Maurer, who had some camera and light troubles at the start. 

In addition, water had accumulated in his helmet. Maurer was never in danger, but as these two astronauts illustrated, water in your helmet may be quite deadly. In 2013, another ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano came dangerously close to drowning in orbit, while NASA’s Garett Reisman feared drowning on a spacewalk when it happened to him in the late 2000s. Thankfully, they were all unharmed.

Thanks to Voltmer’s wonderful photographs, Maurer (and the rest of us) can now enjoy seeing himself not only in close-up video from the ISS, but also from 400 kilometers away. During his stay on the International Space Station (ISS) between 2008 and 2010, former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman said that he had feared drowning on a spacewalk. Is it possible to drown in space? No one has yet, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility.

The work required for STScI to continue supporting the Hubble science program is covered by this contract renewal. This comprises goods and services for scientific system engineering, science ground system development, science operations, management of science research grants and public outreach, and data archive support for mission data in the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. The spacecraft team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is now examining a problem with missing synchronization messages that prompted Hubble to cease science observations on October 25. 

The Advanced Camera for Surveys, one of the equipment, commenced scientific observations on Nov. 7 and is performing as predicted. The rest of the instruments are still in safe mode. When his spacesuit helmet malfunctioned, raising the risk of his helmet filling with water, Reisman disclosed on Twitter that the prospect of becoming the first person to drown in space did not appeal to him.

“Make sure your bite valve is tightly linked to your water bag straw,” he added in an astronaut tip. “I was less than delighted about the prospect of becoming the first astronaut to drown during a spacewalk when I saw mine drift past INSIDE my helmet…” Spacewalks, also known as Extravehicular Activity (EVA), are when astronauts leave their spacecraft to undertake maintenance, installations, or investigations. 

NASA astronauts Jim Voss and Susan Helms established the record in 2001 at 8 hours and 56 minutes. NASA spacesuits contain drinking pouches under the helmets that astronauts may bite down on to release water if they grow thirsty while completing these feats outside. Finding the disconnected valve to your water bag floating by you, on the other hand, isn’t ideal since it implies a helmet may fill up with water.