Briton Tim Peake and American Tim Kopra launched into space only a month ago, and they’re already performing daring spacewalks. The two are—this very moment—replacing a failed power regulator outside the International Space Station (ISS).
The catch is, they must carry out their mission in complete darkness, under cover of the Earth’s shadow. If they pass into direct sunlight, they risk a high voltage spark during the repair. That means they’ll only have about 30 minutes to replace the broken part.
The entire spacewalk, including the various other tasks they’re responsible for, is expected to last six hours. The duo first stepped out into space at 12:55 GMT (7:55am ET). Here’s NASA’s live feed of the spacewalk, from the astronauts’ helmet cameras:
The spacewalk is also a big moment for the United Kingdom. Peake is the first Briton to officially walk in space for the UK. Michael Foale and Piers Sellers—two British-born astronauts with dual American citizenship—have both carried out spacewalks for NASA. But Peake is the first to do so while officially representing his country for the European Space Agency.
American Scott Kelly, the commander of the ISS, who’s been in space for almost 300 days (and counting), will monitor the spacewalk from inside the station, along with Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov.