Astronauts Preparing for First of Three Spacewalks

Spacewalker Thomas Pesquet
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet is photographed during a spacewalk in January 2017.

Three astronauts are preparing for a Friday morning spacewalk to upgrade and maintain the International Space Station’s external systems. The three cosmonauts stayed focused today on their set of Russian space experiments and life support work.

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency are reviewing procedures for the spacewalk set to begin Friday at 8 a.m. EDT with live NASA TV coverage at 6:30 a.m. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson joined the pair for the review and will assist the spacewalkers from inside the station.

Friday’s spacewalk will see Kimbrough and Pesquet begin setting up the station for future commercial crew missions. They will prepare the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 for removal from the Tranquility module to the Harmony module. The astronauts will also replace computer relay boxes with software upgrades for future dockings of commercial crew vehicles.

In the midst of the spacewalk work today, Pesquet received a call from the French President Francois Hollande who toured an observatory with school children outside Lyon, France. Kimbrough and Whitson answered questions submitted by social media fans on Facebook Live Tuesday morning

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Andrey Borisenko documented what they ate for breakfast and lunch today for a pair of nutrition studies. The experiments are researching how diet affects a crew member’s metabolism and bone structure while living in space. Flight Engineer Sergey Ryzhikov spent the day checking Russian life support gear and sampling drinking water.

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