Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Jessica Meir of NASA will begin a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station about 7:50 a.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 18. NASA Television coverage of the first ever all-female spacewalk will begin at 6:30 a.m.
Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and the agency’s website.
Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will venture out into the vacuum of space on Friday to replace a faulty power controller, also known as a battery charge-discharge unit (BCDU). The BCDU regulates the charge to the batteries that collect and distribute solar power to the orbiting lab’s systems. The unit they are replacing failed to activate following the Oct. 11 installation of new lithium-ion batteries on the space station’s exterior structure.
Koch is designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit with red stripes. Meir is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes. Koch’s helmet camera will carry the number 18, and Meir’s helmet camera will carry the number 11.
Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan will assist the spacewalkers. Parmitano will control the Canadarm2 robotics arm and Morgan will provide airlock and spacesuit support.
Although it will be the 221st spacewalk performed in support of space station assembly and maintenance, it is the first to be conducted entirely by women. This will be Koch’s fourth spacewalk and Meir’s first.
Station managers are investigating the loss of the BCDU and will reschedule the remaining three battery replacement spacewalks for a future date. In the meantime, the five planned spacewalks to repair a cosmic particle detector, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, are still on the calendar for November and December.