The European Space Agency sent British astronaut Tim Peake into space last month, marking the first time in history that a British astronaut boarded the International Space Station.
Like other astronauts on board the International Space Station, Peake is assisting with experiments aboard the International Space Station to further our understanding of space and how physics, growing plants, and more works up there.
Peake has already contributed a lot since his initial arrival, such as assisting two NASA astronauts on a spacewalk to fix a broken transportation cart that was stuck because of a seized brake handle. The mission helped free up the robotic arm that is required to help add supplies to the International Space Station via capsule, and the mission was successful.
But now, Peake will be performing a spacewalk of his own. Breaking historic records once again, Peake’s spacewalk will be the first time that a British astronaut has ever performed a spacewalk on the International Space Station and he will be tasked with replacing a broken Sequential Shunt Unit (SSU) on the outside of the space station, necessary for certain electrical functions on board the International Space Station.
The unit reportedly failed in November of last year, and has caused issues with some of the International Space Station’s power supply since. Fixing it will give the International Space Station all the power it needs again, giving astronauts more power to conduct tests with.
Peake will be accompanied by NASA’s Tim Kopra during the spacewalk on January 15th; Kopra was already on a spacewalk just a few weeks ago, along with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, to fix the jammed transportation cart. Peake helped prepare the space suits and air lock chamber for Kelly and Kopra on the previous spacewalk.
Because spacewalks can be dangerous, this is a big test for the novice astronaut Peake, and we wish him the best luck possible in making the necessary repairs along with the more experienced Kopra.