The ISS is set to receive its very own parking spot, which will be used by space taxis manufactured by the likes of Boeing and SpaceX.
NASA has revealed that the ISS could soon be able to support visitors from the likes of Boeing and SpaceX by as soon as 2017; astronauts aboard the station are hard at work manufacturing a parking sport where various space taxis will dock.
Astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins, who are both aboard the station, are set to begin a six and a half hour spacewalk where they will begin working on the parking spot. Previously, power and data cables have already been laid, and all that remains is to finish the job itself.
NASA named SpaceX and Boeing as its two lead contenders for the Commerical Crew Program in 2012, which will see both companies be able to access NASA-led funding for the project. While Boeing received twice the financial cut SpaceX did, the latter looks to be ready first as its Crew Dragon vehicle is nearly ready to begin its duty of ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS.
The spacewalk to complete the dock’s installation will be live streamed from NASA TV on Friday the 19th of August, where it will launch at 6:30 Eastern Time, and officially begin at 8:05am; respectively, that’s at 12:30 and 14:05pm South African time (UTC +2).
NASA have revealed an early animation of the intended spacewalk, which will mark one of the first major developments in the commercialization of space.
What are your thoughts? Will you join the live stream to watch the spacewalk? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!