MAJOR Tim Peake has carried out the first official spacewalk under a British flag, making history just outside the International Space Station’s Quest airlock, although the trip was cut short after one of his fellow astronauts found water in his helmet.
The Englishman, who has been regularly updating television chat shows on his adventures, was sent on a mission with NASA astronaut Tim Kopra to replace a faulty power unit on the station’s exterior.
Travelling around 50 metres along the length of the space station, the two Tims were at a startling height of 249 miles above the earth and moved using their arms whilst tethered to the station with steel cords.
The pair were given 31 minutes to fix the problem but managed in just nineteen with time to spare, however, when water particles were detected in Kopra’s helmet they were called back in as a precaution.
Astronaut Luca Parmitano described the sensation the two must have felt as being beyond words “When language evolved, it described what we saw around us. Being on the Space Station, doing an EVA, walking outside, is not something we have experienced as a species.”
The first Briton to carry out a spacewalk was Michael Foale more than 20 years ago under a NASA program. Only since 2009 has the British government been open to the funding of human spaceflight.