Shane Kimbrough, Peggy Whitson Second Spacewalk on Thursday to Break Records

With an aim to upgrade the hardware of the International Space Station (ISS), US astronauts are carrying out three spacewalks that would go on for 6.5 hours.

As per an Associated Press (AP) report, there was frustration in Whitson's voice as she spoke to Mission Control, informing them about the setback.

Cameras on the station tracked the debris shield bag as it sailed into the distance.

The spacewalk formally began at 7:29 am (1129 GMT) when Whitson and Kimbrough switched their spacesuits to battery power before venturing outside the airlock and into the vacuum of space.

In this image made from video provided by NASA, U.S. astronauts Peggy Whitson, above, and Shane Kimbrough work on the outside of the International Space Station on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

That is the most spacewalks ever performed by a woman.

While not a flawless fit, the cover will help protect the station from impacts and provide thermal shielding, NASA said. But the getaway items are usually small, like bolts.

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Spacewalkers have lost things before, including an entire tool kit in 2008. When unfolded, it is about 2 inches thick and measures about 5 feet by 2 feet.

Whitson and her spacewalking partner, Shane Kimbrough (KIM-broh), need to complete prep work on a docking port. Kimbrough disconnected the port during a spacewalk last Friday.

The incident briefly raised concern at mission control in Houston that the shield might come back and hit the orbiting laboratory.

NASA is in the process of setting up a second docking port on the station to accommodate visits by commercial crew ferry ships being built by Boeing and SpaceX. Then they turned to the shields, and that's when one of the folded coverings got away.

The piece of shielding the astronauts lost, protects against micrometeorite debris and was one of four pieces that Whitson and Kimbrough were installing over the spot left by a relocated docking port.

Space station commander Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson, about to become the world's most experienced female spacewalker, floated outside the International Space Station Thursday to continue ongoing work to set up a second docking port for USA crew ferry ships, to install an upgraded computer relay box and to attach protective shielding.

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