A spacewalking astronaut added to the millions of pieces of junk orbiting the Earth on Friday when he lost a small mirror as soon as he stepped out of the International Space Station for battery work.
The new lithium-ion batteries the men are replacing the old batteries with arrived at the International Space Station last month on a Japanese cargo ship.
According to the outlet, Cassidy, while coming out of the airlock to begin works on the ISS outer surface, reported that the small mirror had somehow come off the sleeve of his spacesuit and floated into space at a speed of about a mile per hour. The lost item posed no risk to either the spacewalk or the station, NASA said.
Such mirrors are attached to the wrist to help the astronauts to see the electrical components on a spacesuit and any blind spots that may occur.
The spacewalkers removed five of six aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for one of two power channels for the starboard 6 truss, installed two of three new lithium-ion batteries, and installed two of three associated adapter plates that are used to complete the power circuit to the new batteries, said NASA. It's cumbersome work: Each battery is about a yard (meter) tall and wide, with a mass of 400 pounds (180 kilograms). They are going to go outside the station on Wednesday, 1 July.
Friday's mission is the seventh spacewalk for both Cassidy and Behnken, who were selected by NASA in 2004 and 2000, respectively.
As the spacewalk ended, Cassidy thanked the cleaning staff at Mission Control in Houston, kept especially busy during "this insane, interesting time".
Behnken and Doug Hurley made history at the end of May with SpaceX's first astronaut launch. Each has spent more than 30 hours out in the vacuum of space. The AP is exclusively responsible for all content.