Tim Peake is getting ready to do some DIY this afternoon, and the world’s incredibly excited. That’s because he’ll be fixing stuff IN SPACE, obviously. Peake will become become the first ever British astronaut to do a spacewalk when he steps out of the International Space Station at around 12.55pm GMT today.
The word ‘spacewalk’ is a little misleading, as Peake will mainly need to rely on his hands to get around. Unfortunately, he’ll be led by an American guy with a slightly cooler name, who happens to have done this all before. Tim Kopra will be EV1, wearing a red-striped spacesuit to assert his dominance over plain-white Peake.
The two Tims will prepare by getting into their space gear hours in advance and getting pumped full of pure oxygen. Once all of their tools have been attached to their suits and double-checked, Kopra and Peake will nip out and (hopefully) replace a failed Solar Shunt Unit, as well as install a valve and cable. The mission will be live-streamed here, with coverage kicking off at 11.30am.
In a blog post this week, Peake said he’d been training for the mission using virtual reality headsets, but knows that the real thing will be much more intense. The entire process should take around six and a half hours, and it’s going to be bloody hard work. To be honest, the thought of just watching the whole thing is challenging enough. Best of luck to you.