NASA TV Goes Live Wednesday to Broadcast Spacewalk

NASA astronaut Bob Behnken (at left) is pictured during a spacewalk to swap batteries on June 26.
NASA astronaut Bob Behnken is pictured during a spacewalk to swap station batteries on June 26.

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken are scheduled to depart the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Wednesday for a spacewalk to complete battery replacement activities to upgrade one of two power channels on the station’s far starboard truss (S6 Truss). The upgrade includes removing six aging nickel-hydrogen batteries and replacing them with three new lithium-ion batteries and the adapter plates that complete the power circuit to the new batteries.

The duo will set their spacesuits to battery power about 7:35 a.m. EDT Wednesday, signifying the start of their spacewalk, which will last between six and seven hours. NASA will begin its live coverage on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 6 a.m.

In a prior spacewalk June 26, Cassidy and Behnken began the work to complete the upgrade to this initial power channel, additionally completing some of the tasks originally scheduled for today. The remaining tasks for today are to install one more lithium-ion battery and one more adapter plate and remove the sixth nickel-hydrogen battery that will no longer be used. NASA animation depicts the originally scheduled spacewalk activities. The new lithium-ion batteries  arrived on a Japanese cargo ship last month.

New tasks added for tomorrow’s spacewalk include loosening the bolts on the nickel-hydrogen batteries that will be replaced during two future spacewalks to complete the power capability upgrade on the far starboard truss and complete the station’s battery replacement work that began in January 2017 with the first series of power upgrade spacewalks.

Cassidy and Behnken also will route power and ethernet cables in preparation for the installation of a new external wireless communications system with an enhanced HD camera and to increase helmet camera coverage for future spacewalks. To support future power system upgrades, they also will remove a device called an “H-Fixture” that was installed before the solar arrays were launched to the space station.

This will be the 229th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Cassidy again will be extravehicular crew member 1, wearing the spacesuit with red stripes, while Behnken will be extravehicular crew member 2, wearing the spacesuit with no stripes. It will be the eighth spacewalk for each astronaut.

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 Finalize Preps Before Wednesday’s Battery Spacewalk

Expedition 63 crewmates assists spacewalkers
Spacewalkers Bob Behnken (far left) and Chris Cassidy (far right) are suited up with assistance from Expedition 63 Flight Engineers (middle left) Doug Hurley and Ivan Vagner (middle right) ahead of their June 26 spacewalk.

The Expedition 63 crew is set for its second spacewalk on Wednesday at 7:35 a.m. EDT to continue upgrading International Space Station power systems.

Commander Chris Cassidy will lead the spacewalk and exit the Quest airlock in the U.S. spacesuit with the red stripes. He’ll be followed by Flight Engineer Bob Behnken in his spacesuit with no stripes.

Both astronauts are being joined today by Flight Engineer Doug Hurley as they finalize procedure reviews, organize tools and perform suit leak checks before tomorrow’s spacewalk. Hurley will be on duty helping the spacewalkers in and out their spacesuits and monitoring the excursion. Roscosmos cosmonaut Ivan Vagner will assist the NASA trio on Wednesday.

Cassidy and Behnken have one more aging nickel-hydrogen battery to remove from the Starboard-6 truss structure and place into an external pallet. They will replace it with a new lithium-ion battery that will channel power collected from the station’s main solar arrays. After that work, the duo will move on and route power and ethernet cables before going back inside the orbiting lab to wrap up their spacewalk.

NASA TV starts its live coverage of Wednesday’s spacewalk, planned to last about six-and-a-half hours, at 6 a.m. Station managers will assess the results of the battery swaps before scheduling more power upgrade spacewalks planned for later this month.

Astronauts Look to Wednesday’s Spacewalk

A NASA astronaut Bob Behnken's"space-selfie"
A spacewalker’s spacesuit gloves and camera are reflected in the helmet visor in this “space-selfie” taken during a six-hour and seven-minute spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken will start their second spacewalk together on July 1. The duo will continue upgrading power systems on the International Space Station.

The veteran spacewalkers wrapped up a spacewalk on Friday after six hours and 7 minutes swapping five aging nickel-hydrogen (NiH2) batteries with two new lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries. They will go out again on Wednesday starting at 7:20 a.m. EDT to swap one more NiH2 battery for a Li-Ion battery on the Starboard-6 truss structure worksite. NASA TV will begin its live coverage at 6 a.m.

Flight Engineer Doug Hurley joined his Expedition 63 crewmates today in a review of Wednesday’s spacewalk procedures with ground specialists. Hurley once again will assist Cassidy and Behnken in and out of their spacesuits and monitor the pair during the excursion.

Space station managers also are planning two more spacewalks in July to keep up the battery upgrades. After Cassidy and Behnken complete Wednesday’s spacewalk, mission planners will finalize the future spacewalk tasks along with target dates and times.

Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner spent Monday working on a variety of Russian communications gear and life support hardware. The duo also worked on a pair of Earth science studies exploring how natural and man-made activities on the surface affect the upper and lower atmosphere.

Cassidy and Behnken Conclude Spacewalk to Replace Batteries

NASA Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken during spacewalk to replace batteries to upgrade the power supply capability
NASA Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken during spacewalk to replace batteries to upgrade the power supply capability

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken concluded their spacewalk at 1:39 p.m. EDT, after six hours and seven minutes. The two NASA astronauts completed all the work planned for this first of four spacewalks to replace batteries that provide power for the station’s solar arrays on the starboard truss of the complex as well as initial tasks originally planned for the second scheduled spacewalk next Wednesday. The new batteries provide an improved and more efficient power capacity for operations.

The spacewalkers removed five of six aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for one of two power channels for the starboard 6 (S6) truss, installed two of three new lithium-ion batteries, and installed two of three associated adapter plates that are used to complete the power circuit to the new batteries. Mission control reports that the two new batteries are working.

Cassidy and Behnken are scheduled to complete the upgrade to this initial power channel in a second spacewalk on July 1, during which they will install one more lithium-ion battery and one more adapter plate and remove the sixth nickel-hydrogen battery that will no longer be used.

This was the seventh spacewalk for both each astronaut. Cassidy now has spent a total of 37 hours and 21 minutes spacewalking, and Behnken has spent a total of 43 hours and 40 minutes spacewalking.

Space station crew members have conducted 228 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 59 days, 18 hours, and 33 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.

 

Spacewalkers Begin Work to Replace Batteries

Spacewalkers Bob Behnken (left) and Chris Cassidy (right) in the Quest Airlock before beginning today’s spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV
Spacewalkers Bob Behnken (left) and Chris Cassidy (right) in the Quest Airlock before beginning today’s spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken have begun the first of two scheduled spacewalks to replace batteries on one of two power channels on the far starboard truss (S6 Truss) of the International Space Station.

The spacewalkers switched their spacesuits to battery power at 7:32 a.m. EDT to begin the spacewalk, which may last as long as seven hours.

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

Cassidy and Behnken will be removing existing nickel-hydrogen batteries and replacing them with new lithium-ion batteries that arrived on a Japanese cargo ship last month. The batteries store electricity for one pair of the station’s solar arrays, and the swap will upgrade the station’s power supply capability. 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.

This is the 228th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Cassidy is extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the spacesuit with red stripes, and using helmet camera #18. Behnken is extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the spacesuit with no stripes and helmet camera #20. It is the seventh spacewalk for both astronauts.

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.

NASA TV Coverage of Spacewalk Underway

Astronauts (from left) Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken are pictured during previous spacewalks on earlier missions at the space station.
Astronauts (from left) Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken are pictured during previous spacewalks on earlier missions at the space station.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken is now underway and available on the agency’s website.

The crew members of Expedition 63 are preparing to venture outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk expected to begin at approximately 7:35 a.m. EDT and last as long as seven hours.

The crew is in the airlock and have donned their suits in preparation to exit the airlock and begin today’s activities working on one of two power channels on the far starboard truss (S6 Truss) of the station.

The primary tasks for today, as illustrated in a NASA animation, are to remove three existing nickel-hydrogen batteries and replace them with two new lithium-ion batteries. The batteries store electricity for one pair of the station’s solar arrays. Cassidy and Hurley also will be installing an adapter plate to complete the circuit to the new batteries and relocating the nickel-hydrogen batteries, two of which will be moved to an external platform for future disposal.

Leading the mission control team today is Flight Director Royce Renfrew with support from Jackie Kagey as the lead spacewalk officer.

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 Battery Swap Spacewalk Friday

Astronauts (from left) Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken are pictured during previous spacewalks on earlier missions at the space station.
Astronauts (from left) Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken are pictured during previous spacewalks on earlier missions at the space station.

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken are scheduled to depart the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Friday for a spacewalk to replace batteries to upgrade the power supply capability.

The duo will set their spacesuits to battery power about 7:35 a.m. EDT Friday, signifying the start of their spacewalk, which may last as long as seven hours. NASA will begin its live coverage on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 6 a.m.

NASA posted a video providing an animation of the spacewalk activities to depict how they will be replacing existing nickel-hydrogen batteries on one of two power channels on the far starboard truss (S6 Truss) of the station with new lithium-ion batteries that arrived on a Japanese cargo ship last month.

They are scheduled for a second spacewalk to continue the work on Wednesday, July 1. The battery replacement work is the final series of power upgrade spacewalks that began in January 2017.

This will be the 228th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Cassidy will be extravehicular crew member 1, wearing the spacesuit with red stripes, while Behnken will be extravehicular crew member 2, wearing the spacesuit with no stripes. It will be the seventh spacewalk for each astronaut.

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

Expedition 63 Crew Gets Ready for Friday’s Spacewalk

A U.S. spacesuit is pictured surrounded by a pair of plush-doll mascots
A U.S. spacesuit is pictured surrounded by a pair of plush-doll mascots, Tremor and Little Earth, delivered aboard the first two SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicles.

The Expedition 63 crew is in final preparations today ahead of Friday’s spacewalk to replace batteries on the outside of the International Space Station. Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken will exit the station Friday around 7:35 a.m. EDT for a planned seven-hour spacewalk.

They will disconnect aging nickel-hydrogen batteries from the Starboard-6 truss structure and stow them on an external pallet. The duo will then install new lithium-ion batteries in their place upgrading the orbital lab’s power systems. The batteries store power collected from the main solar arrays and for use throughout the station.

Cassidy and Behnken organized their spacewalk tools and readied their U.S. spacesuits inside the Quest airlock during the morning. They were joined in the afternoon by Flight Engineers Doug Hurley of NASA and Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos for a quick review of tomorrow’s spacewalk procedures.

Hurley and Vagner have been reviewing their roles all week to assist tomorrow’s spacewalk. The pair will help the spacewalkers in and out of the Quest airlock as well as their spacesuits. Both crewmembers will also monitor and help choreograph the spacewalk, in conjunction with specialists on the ground, from inside the station.

NASA TV begins its live coverage of the spacewalk activities at 6 a.m. This will be the seventh spacewalk for both Cassidy and Behnken who each have conducted six spacewalks on previous missions at the space station.

Veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin spent his morning on lab maintenance on the station’s Russian segment. Afterward, Ivanishin set up sensors to monitor the radiation environment in the orbital lab.

Crew Focusing on Science Today as Spacewalk Nears

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy is pictured during a spacewalk in July of 2013
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy is pictured during a spacewalk in July of 2013 when he was an Expedition 36 Flight Engineer.

The Expedition 63 crew lightened up on spacewalk preparations and focused its attention on a variety of research hardware today. The International Space Station residents also brushed up on their medical emergency skills while tending a pair of resupply ships.

Following a day of spacesuit fit checks, the three NASA astronauts aboard the orbiting lab split up on Wednesday to keep space science moving along. Commander Chris Cassidy started the day servicing a science freezer that stores biological samples for analysis. During the afternoon, Cassidy checked on samples for a physics study with commercial applications taking place in the Fluid Science Laboratory rack.

Flight Engineer Doug Hurley stowed hardware from a space bubbles study that was exploring new methods to deliver oxygen to spacecraft and medicine to humans. His fellow crewmate, Bob Behnken, was troubleshooting the TangoLab-2 science facility before packing gear inside Japan’s HTV-9 resupply ship.

The duo ended the day conducting a medical emergency drill in space. Hurley and Behnken practiced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques, located medical equipment and coordinated communications with mission controllers.

Hurley also joined cosmonaut Ivan Vagner in the morning and reviewed their responsibilities to assist Cassidy and Behnken during Friday’s spacewalk. Hurley and Vagner will help the astronauts in and out of their spacesuits and monitor the spacewalk scheduled to start about 7:35 a.m. EDT. NASA TV begins its live broadcast at 6 a.m.

Vagner then partnered up with veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin for cargo operations inside Russia’s Progress 74 cargo craft. Ivanishin spent the rest of the day working on Russian science experiments and life support maintenance.

Spacesuit Fit Checks and Microsatellite Deployment Today

Expedition 63 Flight Engineer Bob Behnken poses with a U.S. spacesuit
Expedition 63 Flight Engineer Bob Behnken poses with a U.S. spacesuit he is preparing for two spacewalks planned for June 26 and July 1 to upgrade power systems on the International Space Station.

The Expedition 63 crew is reviewing tasks and trying on spacesuits today ahead of two spacewalks set to begin Friday. Another microsatellite is set to be deployed from the International Space Station today.

Two NASA astronauts spent all day Tuesday preparing for the first of two spacewalks that will start on Friday at 7:35 a.m. EDT. Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken began the morning on a specialized computer going over the complex tasks they will use to upgrade station power systems. The second spacewalk is scheduled for July 1 at 7:20 a.m.

Space station managers will provide more details about the spacewalks during a live briefing on NASA TV starting Wednesday at 2 p.m. NASA TV will also begin its live coverage of Friday’s spacewalk at 6 a.m.

Flight Engineer Doug Hurley partnered with the spacewalkers in the morning and reviewed the Canadarm2 robotic arm procedures necessary to execute the maintenance spacewalks. Cosmonaut Ivan Vagner joined the trio in the afternoon helping Cassidy and Behnken in and out of their U.S. spacesuits to verify they fit.

The third Red-Eye microsatellite is staged outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module ready for deployment today at 5:10 p.m. The station’s fine-tuned Canadian robotic hand, known as Dextre, grappled Red-Eye installed inside the Kaber Microsat Deployer from which it will be ejected. It will test satellite communications, flight computers and thermal management technologies.