NASA Astronauts Complete 215th Spacewalk at Station

Spacewalker Nick Hague
Spacewalker Nick Hague works to upgrade the International Space Station ‘s power storage capacity during today’s six hour and 45-minute spacewalk.

Expedition 59 Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Christina Koch of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 2:27 p.m. EDT. During the six hour and 45-minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully connected three newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries to replace the previous six nickel-hydrogen batteries that provide power for one channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays. The new batteries provide an improved and more efficient power capacity for operations.

The astronauts also did work to enable robotic specialists to remove one of the three new lithium ion batteries connected during last Friday’s spacewalk that is not charging properly and replace it with the two older nickel hydrogen batteries. The swap will restore a full power supply to that solar array power channel.

In addition, the astronauts also completed several tasks to prepare the worksite for future spacewalkers who will complete similar operations to upgrade the batteries for the set of solar arrays at the end of the port side of the station’s backbone structure known as the truss. Hague inspected the worksite interfaces for a portable foot restraint a spacewalker uses to anchor themselves during the battery upgrade work while Koch installed fabric handrails to help future spacewalkers move across the worksite.

This was the second spacewalk for Hague, who now has spent a total of 13 hours and 24 minutes spacewalking. It was the first spacewalk for Koch, who became the 14th female spacewalker.

Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency are scheduled to conduct another spacewalk April 8 to establish a redundant path of power to the Canadian-built robotic arm, known as Canadarm2, and install cables to provide for more expansive wireless communications coverage outside the orbital complex, as well as for enhanced hardwired computer network capability.

Experts will discuss the work to be performed on the April 8 spacewalk during a news conference at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 2, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Live coverage of the briefing and spacewalks will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Participants in the briefing are Kenny Todd, International Space Station manager for Operations and Integration, Rick Henfling, spacewalk flight director, and John Mularski, lead spacewalk officer.

Space station crew members have conducted 215 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 56 days 4 hours and 24 minutes working outside the station.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Second Spacewalk for Power Upgrades at Station Begins

NASA astronaut Nick Hague
NASA astronaut Nick Hague is contrasted by the blackness of space during his first spacewalk on March 22, 2019.

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch have begun the second spacewalk in a week to complete the installation of new batteries to upgrade the International Space Station’s  power capability.

The duo from the Expedition 59 crew switched their spacesuits to battery power at 7:42 a.m. EDT to begin the estimated six-and-a-half hour spacewalk.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

This is the 215th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Hague is extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit with red stripes and helmet camera #20. Koch is extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit without stripes and helmet camera #18.

This is the second battery replacement spacewalk in the past week, continuing work Hague and Anne McClain performed March 22 to install adapter plates and complete electrical connections for three of six new lithium-ion batteries for the station’s port truss. The batteries store power generated by the station’s solar arrays to provide power to the microgravity laboratory when the station is not in sunlight as it circles Earth during orbital night.

One of those new lithium ion batteries has not been successfully holding a charge, so as part of today’s spacewalk, Hague will begin preparations for robotic operators to replace the new battery that is not working with the two old batteries, ensuring optimal power supply at the space station. Meanwhile, Koch will prepare the worksite for the delivery of the next six new lithium ion batteries that will arrive to the station aboard a Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle later this year to upgrade a third set of the solar arrays.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

NASA TV Broadcasts Live Spacewalk Coverage Friday Morning

NASA astronaut Anne McClain takes a "space-selfie"
NASA astronaut Anne McClain takes a “space-selfie” with her helmet visor up 260 miles above the Earth’s surface during a spacewalk on March 22, 2019.

Expedition 59 Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Christina Koch will exit the Quest airlock Friday for about 6.5 hours of battery swaps to upgrade the station’s power storage capacity. The duo will set their spacesuits to battery power about 8:20 a.m. EDT Friday signifying the start of their spacewalk. Coverage will begin its live coverage at 6:30 a.m.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

This will be the 215th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Hague will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit with red stripes. Koch will be designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes.

Hague and Koch have configured their spacesuits and reviewed procedures for tomorrow’s spacewalk at the space station. Robotics controllers also readied the Port-4 (P4) truss structure so the spacewalkers can continue battery swaps and power upgrades outside the orbital lab.

This is the second battery replacement spacewalks this month. Hague and Koch will work on a second set of battery replacements on a different power channel in the same area of the station from the recent spacewalk on March 22.

During that spacewalk, NASA Flight Engineer Anne McClain and Hague replaced some nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays. The batteries were transported to the station in September aboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle. The spacewalking work continues the overall upgrade of the station’s power system that began with similar battery replacement during spacewalks in January 2017.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Astronauts Ready After Robotics Sets Up Worksite for Friday Spacewalk

NASA astronaut Nick Hague
NASA astronaut Nick Hague is tethered to the International Space Station during a six-hour, 39-minute spacewalk to upgrade the orbital complex’s power storage capacity.

Astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch have configured their spacesuits and reviewed procedures for tomorrow’s spacewalk at the International Space Station. Robotics controllers also readied the Port-4 (P4) truss structure so the spacewalkers can continue battery swaps and power upgrades outside the orbital lab.

Hague and Koch will set their spacesuits to battery power Friday around 8:20 a.m. inside the Quest airlock. They will exit Quest to swap old nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the P4 truss. NASA TV will begin its live coverage of the scheduled 6.5-hour spacewalk Friday at 6:30 a.m.

Ground specialists in Mission Control remotely commanded the Canadarm2 robotic arm and its “robotic hand” Dextre to set up the P4 worksite throughout week. The fine-tuned robotics maneuvers transferred the batteries between an external pallet and the P4 worksite over several days.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain is tentatively scheduled to join Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques on April 8 for another spacewalk. The spacewalkers will install truss jumpers to provide secondary power to the Canadarm2.

Meanwhile, McClain collected her blood and urine samples today for ongoing human research. She spun the samples in a centrifuge and stowed them in a science freezer for later analysis. Saint-Jacques worked on computer electronics maintenance throughout the day.

Expedition 59 commander Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin, both of Roscosmos, stayed focused on activities in the station’s Russian segment on Thursday. The duo spent the morning on life support maintenance before checking docked vehicle communications and photographing windows in the Zvezda service module.

Spacewalks Preps and More Brain Research At Station Today

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague
NASA astronauts Christina Koch (left) and Nick Hague are fitted in U.S. spacesuits and check out spacewalk cameras inside the Quest airlock.

Two days away from the second International Space Station spacewalk of 2019 and the Expedition 59 crew is studying the human brain and an astronaut’s wake-sleep cycle in space.

Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Christina Koch will exit the Quest airlock Friday for about 6.5 hours of battery swaps to upgrade the station’s power storage capacity. The duo will set their spacesuits to battery power about 8:20 a.m. EDT Friday signifying the start of their spacewalk. NASA TV will begins its live coverage at 6:30 a.m.

While Hague and Koch were organizing their spacewalk tools today, the duo had time to research how blood flows to the brain in microgravity. Koch took Doppler waveform measurements of her arterial blood pressure for the Cerebral Autoregulation study. Hague then closed out the brain blood-flow experiment and stowed its gear in the Kibo lab module.

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency was back on spacesuit duty today cleaning cooling loops, checking tools and readying the SAFER jetpacks. He later worked on a wearable device, the Actiwatch Spectrum (AWS), which measures an astronaut’s daily wake-sleep cycle, or circadian rhythm. The AWS provides doctors insights into sleep quality, sleep onset and ambient light quality aboard the orbital lab.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain also assisted with the spacesuit work today checking the SAFER jet packs and reconfiguring the U.S. spacesuits. She also worked on a science freezer and trashed obsolete ultrasonic hardware designed to detect pressure leaks.

Spacewalkers Swapping Places; Crew Studies Brain and Muscles

NASA astronaut Nick Hague
NASA astronaut Nick Hague, seemingly curtained by the International Space Station’s solar arrays, retrieves batteries and adapter plates from an external pallet. He and NASA astronaut Anne McClain (out of frame) conducted a six-hour. 39-minute spacewalk to upgrade the orbital complex’s power storage capacity on the Port-4 truss structure.

A pair of astronauts are trading places on the next two spacewalks as the Expedition 59 crew continues upgrades and maintenance outside of the International Space Station. The orbital residents are also conducting space research to improve life for humans on and off Earth.

NASA announced Monday that Flight Engineer Nick Hague is joining fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch on this Friday’s spacewalk. The duo will continue swapping old nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the station’ Port-4 truss structure. Hague and astronaut Anne McClain performed the exact same work last week on the other side of the truss structure.

Hague is swapping places with McClain this Friday due to a spacesuit-sizing issue. McClain is tentatively planned to go outside on an April 8 spacewalk with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques. The spacewalkers will install truss jumpers to provide secondary power to the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

McClain and Hague successfully installed new lithium-ion batteries during a spacewalk on March 22. Ground teams checked out the power channel immediately after the spacewalk with no issues. Over the weekend, attempts to recharge one of the batteries were unsuccessful. Engineers on the ground are continuing to identify the cause of the issue and explore possible solutions. There has been no impact to standard space station operations.

Science work is always ongoing aboard the orbital lab with the crew researching blood flow to the brain and muscle adaptation in space.

Hague spent a couple of hours this morning in the Kibo lab module measuring his arterial blood pressure using waveform data. The results will inform the Cerebral Autoregulation experiment that observes the brain’s blood vessels in microgravity.

Hague then joined Koch and collected leg, shoulder and back measurements for the Myotones muscle study in the Columbus lab module. Results could improve muscle rehabilitation techniques on Earth and in space.

NASA Updates Spacewalk Assignments, Announces Final Preview Briefing

Astronaut Christina Koch assists spacewalkers Nick Hague and Anne McClain
NASA astronaut Christina Koch (center) assists spacewalkers Nick Hague (left) and Anne McClain in their U.S. spacesuits shortly before they begin the first spacewalk of their careers. Hague and McClain would work outside in the vacuum of space for six hours and 39 minutes to upgrade the International Space Station’s power storage capacity.

With the first in a series of three spacewalks successfully completed at the International Space Station, NASA has updated astronaut assignments for the remaining two spacewalks and will preview the third in an upcoming news conference on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Anne McClain conducted the first spacewalk in this series on March 22. Hague and fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch now are preparing to conduct the second spacewalk Friday, March 29, during which they will continue work started on the first spacewalk to install powerful lithium-ion batteries for one pair of the station’s solar arrays.

Koch had been scheduled to conduct this spacewalk with astronaut McClain, in what would have been the first all-female spacewalk. However, after consulting with McClain and Hague following the first spacewalk, mission managers decided to adjust the assignments, due in part to spacesuit availability on the station. McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso – essentially the shirt of the spacesuit – fits her best. Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, March 29, Koch will wear it.

Mission experts previewed the tasks for the first two spacewalks during a March 19 news conference.

McClain now is tentatively scheduled to perform her next spacewalk – the third in this series – on Monday, April 8 with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques. Assignments for this spacewalk will be finalized following completion of the second spacewalk.

Experts will discuss the work to be performed on the April 8 spacewalk during a news conference at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 2, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Live coverage of the briefing and spacewalks will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Media wishing to attend the briefing in person must request credentials from the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 4 p.m. Monday, April 1. Media interested in participating by phone must contact the newsroom by 1:45 p.m. April 2.

Participants in the briefing will be:

  • Kenny Todd, International Space Station manager for Operations and Integration
  • Rick Henfling, spacewalk flight director
  • John Mularski, lead spacewalk officer

McClain and Saint-Jacques will lay out jumper cables between the Unity module and the S0 truss, at the midpoint of the station’s backbone, during their April 8 spacewalk. This work will establish a redundant path of power to the Canadian-built robotic arm, known as Canadarm2. They also will install cables to provide for more expansive wireless communications coverage outside the orbital complex, as well as for enhanced hardwired computer network capability.

Live coverage of both spacewalks will begin at 6:30 a.m., and each is expected to last about 6.5 hours. The March 29 spacewalk is scheduled to start at 8:20 a.m., while the April 8 spacewalk is set to start at 8:05 a.m.

These will be the 215th and 216th spacewalks in the history of International Space Station assembly and maintenance. During the first spacewalk of the series, on March 22, McClain became the 13th woman to perform a spacewalk. Koch will become the 14th on March 29.

Learn more about the spacewalks and the International Space Station at:

https://www.nasa.gov/station

Spacewalkers Complete Battery Swaps for Station Power Upgrades

Spacewalkers Nick Hague and Anne McClain
NASA astronauts Nick Hague (top) and Anne McClain work to swap batteries in the Port-4 truss structure during today’s spacewalk.

Expedition 59 Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Anne McClain of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 2:40 p.m. EDT. During the six-hour, 39-minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully replaced nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays.

Astronauts were also able to accomplish several get-ahead tasks including removing debris from outside of the station, securing a tieback for restraints on the Solar Array Blanket Box, and photographing a bag of tools for contingency repairs and the airlock thermal cover that is opened and closed for spacewalks.

These new batteries provide an improved power capacity for operations with a lighter mass and a smaller volume than the nickel-hydrogen batteries. Next week, McClain and flight engineer Christina Koch are scheduled to venture outside on the March 29 spacewalk to work on a second set of battery replacements on a different power channel in the same area of the station. This would be the first-ever spacewalk with all-female spacewalkers.

Hague and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency are scheduled to conduct a third spacewalk April 8 to lay out jumper cables between the Unity module and the S0 truss, at the midpoint of the station’s backbone. This work will establish a redundant path of power to the Canadian-built robotic arm, known as Canadarm2. They also will install cables to provide for more expansive wireless communications coverage outside the orbital complex, as well as for enhanced hardwired computer network capability.

Space station crew members have conducted 214 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. This was the first spacewalk for both McClain and Hague. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 55 days, 21 hours and 39 minutes working outside the station.

Keep up with the crew aboard the International Space Station on the agency’s blog, follow @ISS on Instagram, and @space_station on Twitter.

Spacewalkers Working Outside to Upgrade Station Power

NASA astronaut Nick Hague
NASA astronaut Nick Hague verifies his U.S. spacesuit is sized correctly and fits properly ahead of a set of upcoming spacewalks.

Two astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 8:01 a.m. EDT aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about six-and-a-half hours.

Expedition 59 Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Anne McClain of NASA will install adapter plates and hook up electrical connections for three of six new lithium-ion batteries installed on the station’s starboard truss. McClain is designated extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit with red stripes, and with the helmet camera labeled #20. Hague is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes, and with helmet camera #17.

The batteries store power generated by the station’s solar arrays to provide power to the station when the station is not in the sunlight, as it orbits the Earth during orbital night. Next week, McClain and flight engineer Christina Koch are scheduled to venture outside on the March 29 spacewalk to work on a second set of battery replacements on a different power channel in the same area of the station. Additional batteries will be replaced as part of this power upgrade over the next couple of years as new batteries are delivered to station.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates online. Learn more about the International Space Station online, including additional information about the current crew members.

NASA TV Broadcasts Station Spacewalk Live Today

NASA astronaut Nick Hague
NASA astronaut Nick Hague verifies his U.S. spacesuit is sized correctly and fits properly ahead of a set of upcoming spacewalks.

Expedition 59 Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Anne McClain of NASA will begin a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station at about 8 a.m. EDT Friday, March 22. NASA Television coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 6:30 a.m.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

This will be the 214th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. McClain will be designated extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit with red stripes. Hague will be designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes.

This is the first of two battery replacement spacewalks this month. McClain and Hague will replace nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays. The batteries were transported to the station in September aboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle. The spacewalking work continues the overall upgrade of the station’s power system that began with similar battery replacement during spacewalks in January 2017.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates online. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.