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NASA astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins took on the task of making the docking port compatible with Boeing and SpaceX vessels early this morning. And, despite some hardware “not cooperating,” the astronauts report, they’re still 20 or 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
Right now they’re about four hours and 20 minutes into about six and a half hours of work. You can watch a livestream below:
According to Mashable, this is Williams’ fourth spacewalk and Rubins’ first. The new docking station will liberate NASA astronauts from relying on Russian spacecraft to ferry them to and from the ISS. With the new docking position in place, and the congressional support program allowing for it, commercial airlines should soon be able to shuttle NASA astronauts to the ISS from their home country.
Cynthia McKelvey covered the health and science for the Daily Dot until 2017. She earned a graduate degree in science communication from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2014. Her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Scientific American Mind, and Mic.com.