Health Checks, Science as Spacewalk Season Kicks Off on Station

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan conducts a spacewalk
NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan conducts a spacewalk on Oct. 6, 2019, to begin the latest round of upgrading the station’s large nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries.

Two NASA spacewalkers are conducting routine post-spacewalk activities today after a 7 hour, 1 minute spacewalk Sunday prior to another excursion outside the International Space Station this Friday.

Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan underwent a routine series of post-spacewalk health checks today with Commander Luca Parmitano assisting the astronauts.

Koch and Morgan will venture outside in their U.S. spacesuits again Friday for more battery replacement work on the P-6 truss structure. This time Morgan will lead the duo during the 6.5-hour spacewalk that will start at 7:50 a.m. EDT. NASA TV coverage begins at 6:30 a.m.

Parmitano and NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir joined the spacewalking duo during the afternoon to review the results and lessons learned from Sunday’s excursion. They will be back in the Quest airlock on Friday to help Morgan and Koch in and out of their spacesuits.

Three more spacewalks are planned before the month is out to complete the power upgrade work. The dates and astronauts for the upcoming spacewalks are…

  • Oct. 16: Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir
  • Oct. 21: Christina Koch and Jessica Meir
  • Oct. 25: Jessica Meir and Luca Parmitano

On the Russian side of the station, cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka, who are scheduled to conduct their own spacewalk Oct. 31, continued the upkeep of life support systems while conducting microgravity research.

Skvortsov, who has been on the station since July, explored how enzymes in the human body are impacted by weightlessness. Skripochka researched how ultraviolet waves affect Earth’s atmosphere.

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