Astronauts back in space station after installing cameras during 6.5-hour spacewalk

June 14 (UPI) — NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel are back inside the International Space Station after a 6.5-hour spacewalk, during which the duo installed high-definition cameras.

The new cameras will improve views of approaching spacecraft, aiding docking procedures during future resupply and crew transport missions.

Expedition 56 crewmates Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Alexander Gerst, who arrived last week, supported the spacewalk mission, which was broadcast live on NASA TV.

Gerst, of the European Space Agency, helped Arnold and Feustel into their spacewalk suits early this morning. At 8:06 a.m. ET, the two astronauts plugged their spacesuits into battery power, marking the official beginning of the mission.

Auñón-Chancellor of NASA controlled the Canadarm2 robotic arm during the mission. The robotic arm can perform a variety of functions, including holding the astronauts steady in place as they worked on electronics outside the space station.

The duo began by laying down ethernet cables. After cables were laid, the astronauts began replacing cameras and lights.

Thursday’s spacewalk is the 211th in the history of the space station and the sixth this year. Arnold and Feustel are spacewalking veterans. The mission was Feustel’s ninth trip outside the space station and the fifth for Arnold. The spacewalk lasted about 6 1/2 hours, ending at approximately 2:36 p.m.

“During the ninth spacewalk of Feustel’s career, he moved into third place for total cumulative time spent spacewalking with a total of 61 hours and 48 minutes,” NASA announced Thursday. “It was Arnold’s fifth spacewalk with a total time of 34 hours and 4 minutes.”