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British astronaut Tim Peake will spacewalk next week

He'll be outside the ISS with NASA astronaut Tim Kopra on January 15th.
Nick Summers, @nisummers
January 5, 2016
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KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

It's the moment every astronaut dreams of. Tim Peake has been told he'll be exiting the International Space Station (ISS) next week and conducting a spacewalk with NASA astronaut Tim Kopra. The pair have been tasked with replacing a broken Sequential Shunt Unit that transfers power generated by the space station's solar arrays. There are eight of these in total, so the problem isn't too serious, and the European Space Agency (ESA) says it can be removed by undoing a single bolt. Simple!

With this in mind, Peake and Kopra will be performing some other maintenance work while they're outside the ship. Some of their lower-priority tasks on January 15th include laying cables for future docking ports and reinstalling a valve that was removed as part of the Leonardo module relocation last May. They'll be outside for roughly six hours, although the entire operation will take considerably longer -- it takes hours just to get inside a spacesuit, and that's with the help of a fellow astronaut.

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