Watching this first-person space walk is mind-blowing

I find it hard to believe astronauts get much work done, given their tendency to float above scenes of pure, unutterable beauty. This footage, filmed by ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet on the International Space Station, follows his perspective as he goes about routine repairs with NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough. Below (or is that above?), Earth stretches out in all its glory.

Besides the impressive vista, the video is also fascinating for its glimpse into the quotidian routines of astronauts working and maintaining the orbital space station. Pesquet and Kimbrough grease up the Canadarm2 robot arm, replace some cameras and inspect a potential ammonia leak.

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“The primary task was to prepare the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) for installation of the second International Docking Adapter, which will accommodate commercial crew vehicle dockings,” the YouTube description reads. “The PMA-3 provides the pressurised interface between the station modules and the docking adapter.

“The pair disconnected cables and electrical connections on PMA-3 to prepare for its robotic move, which took place on Sunday, March 26. PMA-3 was be moved from the port side of the Tranquility module to the space-facing side of the Harmony module, where it will become home for the docking adapter, which will be delivered on a future flight of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft.”

You can watch the video below. It’s silent because… well, in space, no-one can hear you carry out routine maintenance.

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