Jack Fischer received a degree in astronautical engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1996 and was one of two astronauts to conduct the 200th spacewalk for the ISS.
The comments by Fischer, 43, were carried live on NASA television as he and his colleague Peggy Whitson, 57, made the 200th spacewalk to build and maintain the orbiting outpost.
Fischer ended up sharing Whitson's spacesuit servicing system, which caused both to burn through their spacesuits' battery power faster than usual. An equipment water leak has shortened the spacewalk.
This morning's spacewalk began just after 9 am EST.
"This is the connection point of the component in the airlock itself that provides power, oxygen, cooling water and communications lines to the two crew members while they are in the process of biding their time, pre-breathing pure oxygen, in the airlock itself", NASA commentator Rob Navias said. The spacewalk is scheduled for 6.5 hours, and they'll be replacing an avionics box and running cable to a damaged experiment, along with other tasks. Whitson beat the record for the most time spent on spacewalks by a woman on her last excursion out of the station, in March.
Fischer rode the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm, driven by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet from inside the station, to help maneuver the bulky spare box that Orbital ATK's Cygnus supply spacecraft delivered to the station last month.
The first spacewalk at the ISS was done December 7, 1988 by astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman.
The umbilical is not part of the spacesuit, NASA said, but is a piece of support equipment inside the space station. The spacewalkers will also try to install a high-definition camera and a pair of wireless antennas at the adapter, which will be the location of a new docking port for commercial crew spacecraft in the future.
Even during times of extreme geopolitical stress, when U.S. -Russia relations are bad (like now for example), the Space Station is the one place where we're always speaking to one another.
Today's spacewalk builds on a historic career for Peggy Whitson.