Astronaut says losing the mirror on the spacewalk was ‘really tiring’

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – The commander of the International Space Station said Monday that losing a mirror during last week’s successful spacewalk was “a real bummer.”

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy said he has no idea how the small mirror fell off his left sleeve. The mirror band is very tight, he noted, and may have caught on a metal tether when it came out of the lock on Friday.

“I just looked down and saw this reflective thing disappear in the dark, and that was the last thing I saw,” Cassidy said in an interview with The Associated Press. “That was a real nuisance to me.”

He will use a spare for Wednesday’s spacewalk, the second of four he and NASA astronaut Bob Behnken will make to replace the old station’s batteries.

Spacewalk astronauts use a mirror on each sleeve to view the displays on the control panel of their chest.

Meanwhile, the five-man crew closely follows the news of the pandemic on Earth. The virus is hitting Houston, home to NASA astronauts and the Johnson Space Center, especially hard. Florida is also facing a spike in cases; that’s where the Kennedy Space Center, the launch site, is located.

“Up here, our daily routine does not involve such strict measures, really no measures. We’re just going for our time, “said Cassidy. “But we are definitely concerned.”

Cassidy has been on a six-month mission for two and a half months, along with two Russians who launched with him from Kazakhstan. Behnken and Doug Hurley arrived through SpaceX a month ago; its August crash will be the first for a NASA crew in 45 years. It is the first astronaut flight for SpaceX.


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