Spacewalk Preps Continue as Crew Studies Combustion, Biology

Astronaut Kayla Barron works on a space agriculture study

NASA astronaut Kayla Barron works inside the Life Science Glovebox conducting botany research for the Plant Habitat-05 investigation.

Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari worked throughout Friday, March 11, preparing for a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk scheduled for 8:05 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 15. Barron and Chari checked out spacesuit emergency jet packs and other suit components including lights, cameras, and data recorders. They also configured a host of tools inside the U.S. Quest airlock they will use during their external maintenance job. The pair on Tuesday will install modification kits on the Starboard-4 truss structure that will ready the space station for its third roll-out solar array. NASA TV begins its live spacewalk broadcast on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.

Astronauts Mark Vande Hei of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) took turns installing combustion science hardware in the Kibo laboratory module at the end of last week. Vande Hei later serviced samples for the Space Biofilms study that seeks to prevent molds from growing and impacting spacecraft systems and crew health. NASA Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn worked in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module servicing gear supporting a fire safety study that could inform future spacecraft designs.