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Ham-Astronauts to Perform 200th Spacewalk at International Space Station


Astronauts ISS Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson, ex-KC5ZTD, and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer, KG5FYH, will carry out a landmark 200th spacewalk at the International Space Station on Friday, May 12. NASA TV will cover the event live.

Whitson and Fischer will venture outside the Quest airlock to replace a large avionics box that provides electrical power and data connections to science experiments, and to swap out a container of critical spare parts stowed outside the station. During the planned 6.5-hour spacewalk, Whitson and Fischer also will install a connector to route data to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and help the crew determine the most efficient way to conduct future maintenance on a cosmic ray detector. In addition to other tasks, they will install a new high-definition camera and a pair of antennas.

Whitson already holds the US record for most spacewalks by a female astronaut. This will be her ninth EVA, while Fischer will be making his first. A space veteran who conducted numerous Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school and group contacts, Whitson let her Amateur Radio license lapse several years ago.