A Canadian First!
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut Jeremy Hansen had a front row seat during the April 23 contingency spacewalk to replace a failed backup computer on the International Space Station (ISS). Sitting by the Capcom at NASA's Mission Control Center, he acted as Ground IV, or Intravehicular crewmember, supporting NASA's Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson and helping them with procedures during the spacewalk. It was the first time that a Canadian astronaut was trusted with this role of "spacewalk choreographer" from the ground. Here is what Jeremy had to say about the experience:
"The spacewalk to replace the failed MDM (Computer Box) was simple as spacewalks go, but the challenges were plenty. The entire team had to weigh the many risks associated with a complicated choreography.
Having a Canadian serve in the position of Ground IV is simply another example of the Canadian Space Agency and Canada making a real and credible contribution to Space Exploration. It also served me as an astronaut by providing an additional experience to help me understand the ground side of a spacewalk, which will ultimately better prepare me to take a stroll in space myself one day."