International Space Station Astronauts Embark on the First Spacewalk of 2017

ABC News' Amna Nawaz interviews NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn as two of his colleagues make history with the first spacewalk of the year.
7:55 | 01/06/17

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Transcript for International Space Station Astronauts Embark on the First Spacewalk of 2017
Hey what's up everybody on the divides here in New York thanks so much for joining me we are to wait seventeen I putting together two of my favorite words space. And walked that straight today NASA its very first space walk of the new year is happening right now it's started earlier this morning we've got some live picture to show you right here is to stay with us. But also joining us live is NASA's own astronaut Tom marsh bird his lot with that in the Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas to explain to us. What exactly is going on up their doctor mark different thanks so much for being with us. Thanks for having me. So give it this skinny here you to your colleagues are out there Peggy within and mr. Kimbrough Shane Kimbrough I believe they are currently live my hair courtesy of NASA TV outside of the International Space Station. Doing so more can you tell us what they're up to stack. Well they're actually changing out the batteries on the space station. This is all on the outside of the station these batteries weigh about 250 pounds are very heavy. And they've got the addition switching around in order to refurbish the stations during that lots of power. To a laboratory certain continue to function. You make it sound really simple they're just chase chase now the batteries the same way you change satellite building your house I imagine it's a lot more complicated than that how long is the mission expected to take today. Usually take 55 and a half hours at the hardware cooperates with us then that's about how long it takes. But the batteries they're having about 250 pounds you can still feel that mass when you're out there. So they have to be very careful and delicate with the work they're known that your. And doctor Richard why didn't now why is this such a crucial thing it needs to happen now it's happening in two parts as well right the first part is today. The other part will happen next week but why didn't need to do this work out right now. Well one thing he had to get the batteries out there in the Japanese for their HTV cargo vehicle and brought these out. Going to take advantage of that time to get them out there. And also one of continued it is science one and get these TVA's done it and done right away while the vehicles there. And then in the future will be all set for power. So I don't know if you can see this live picture as well it's just. It takes my breath away every time we see this I imagine what they must be seeing right now. Up there you yourself you've done spacewalks right at your first one back in 2009. He spent several hours on them as well what do you think. Actually you like weighing you are up there floating around outside of the space stations like pat. Well you have Peggy and chain or both veteran spacewalkers still the first time you come out the hatch again on their next spacewalk. I just takes your breath away it's just see the blackness the bigness of space. Not to mention view of the earth down below you. Takes a few minutes to I kind of catch your breath get into the work there right now they are and deep and thinking about the work they're in their mode they're in their zone and there are Franken along doing really well. Do you remember your first base lucky member what that moment was like when the hatch at pet moment what was going through your head. I will never forget it was good as things here you really never forget. The earth has 250 miles below you when I came out the hatch the the night time. Line in the shadow was coming across the earth. Your torn between wanting to just look and knowing that you've got to get all the time lining get moving. 601 more thing to me because I'm sure a lot of people of heard about how. The space station it will eventually not be used anymore. So will these batteries last up until that time and it is more work going to be necessary on something that's basically going to be decommissioned in a few years. We might need more batteries for other parts the station is not the only place where there are batteries on the station. I don't know the engineering details as to how long these will last. But they are essential for containing a work. As you know the space station goes around the night side of the year. For about 45 minutes every orbit. Therefore this is how restore power from the sun so that we can continue to operate on the night side so they're essential for the laboratory or. Tim Kinney a sense doctor Marsha to get occasionally this camera cuts back to another picture which I believe is inside. The control center at Johnson Space Center there there's a number of people there UC with headsets on sitting there at there computers as well. Looks like we lost that picture I'm sure that we'll come back in just a second. But can you sense of what that conversation is life what are the folks out there who actually doing the work. Hearing from their colleagues back at the space center at how to back communication work. The communication is focused on this to on the outside because it's a very dangerous endeavor to do a spacewalk. They're listening for when the crew talks of them. The crew might bring up something that's either broken not working right or are successful progress and EV anyone here that. But and you can hear the buzz in the mission control whether all talking about what they're seeing. Other watching out for the crew there watching the rest station because the crew is US cruise largely outside the space station right now not on the inside it would take care of it. Does act very intense hum of activity and conversation in the background but on the openly institute here they're trying to be wiser to hear the crew and give them instructions. And we should point out this is pretty cool we're making a little bit of history today well we're not but your colleagues take it with than it. I think today by completing this spacewalk. She will then tie the record for the most number of spacewalks completed by a woman that right. That's what I hear yes. So it everywhere there cheering for her what's it like down there. On they'll let me and talking to her about it but she's intensely in her work I was one of her. Support astronauts when she did her prior space walks and she is pleased to say whatever was just get the job done so. I'm sure she's very proud of her accomplishment that she probably won't say much about it. It doctor Richard that they can every time we have the pleasure speaking at that when NASDAQ. Either in talked about how focused you have to be and how even that you know you're surrounded by some of the most incredible sights you'll ever see. You're really only staring three feet in front of you and maybe if letter to either direction to get the job done. How how you look it's like bad I mean when you're out there floating around scene where only a handful of people ever get in their lifetime. How do you do that. I think it's the training some of the best training that humans can experience and the team itself. The teamwork is is beyond anything I've I think. I've seen anywhere else the training is intense. As it's very lifelike we train underwater in basically station mockup of submerged under water and that's really the only way we can. Get out there and still at the new thing like a live view and the temperature changes which you don't experience and training even went that you're able to have focus on your work. The last thing I will last you and this is something that we also hear from your colleagues from time to time is that. As much as I'm sure you enjoy talking to us front Houston right now. That it's very difficult sometimes to see your colleagues up there doing the work do you sometimes watches and wish that you could be epic tale. Archer we held it. To some degree and I've had my chance so. And it's really great strain and ire in the same class commander camera and higher in the same astronaut class. And I worked with doctor Wentz and quite a bit so I really very proud very happy to see him up there it's it's very good to say. That's awesome doctor mark for thank you so much for making the time to be with us today we really appreciate it. Thank banks and dreaded. All right and thanks to all of you for joining us to you can still watch that live B from NASA TV that spacewalk is happening. Right now NASA's first spacewalk a 2017 you can stay right here and watch it for now off my not so thanks for being with us talking I sit.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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