Astronauts perform second of three scheduled spacewalks at International Space Station

Flight controllers in Houston moved it to a new location on Sunday.

Shane Kimbrough prepares equipment before exiting the airlock on Thursday's spacewalk.

Images on NASA television showed the shield as a small white dot in the darkness. The lost fabric shield is relatively large: It weighs 18 pounds and, when unfolded, measures about 5 feet by 2 feet and is about 2 inches thick.

The shielding protects against micrometeorite debris.

Viewers will have the chance to virtually join Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson "reconnecting cables and electrical connections on PMA-3 at its new home on top Harmony", according to a statement from Nasa.

Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough (KIM-broh) lost a vital cloth shield for the International Space Station midway through their spacewalk Thursday.

"I will be waiting for you".

Astronaut Peggy Whitson of NASA made history Thursday morning when she became the first female astronaut to have embarked on eight spacewalks.

Whitson during her seventh spacewalk in January.

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Whitson is expected to beat the cumulative spacewalk time of Sunita Williams' 50 hours and 40 minutes, CBS News reported. She holds the record for most number of spacewalks by a woman as well as most spacewalk time for a woman.

He further stated that it was not immediately clear who let the shield go or how it got away; it's supposed to be tethered to the station or spacewalker at all times.

This will serve as the second of two docking ports for the future SpaceX and Boeing crew capsules.

Whitson earned a doctorate in biochemistry and served as the first female space station commander in 2008.

She is a native of Iowa and is known for her quick wit, sense of humor and ease in communicating complicated science topics to a lay audience.

Whitson undertook her first space mission in 2002 and most recently launched into space in November previous year, according to NPR. This is her third space station stint.

The world's oldest and most experienced spacewoman has just set another record, this time for spacewalking.

Active on her Twitter account, @AstroPeggy, Whitson often writes about how research at the space station relates to everyday life, and how she travels the world as part of her astronaut training.

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