Two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station are getting ready for a pair of spacewalks set to begin at the end of June. Meanwhile, the Expedition 63 crew is still performing advanced space research to benefit Earth and space industries.
Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken are studying the tasks they will perform during two spacewalks to upgrade station power systems. NASA TV will broadcast both spacewalks live on June 26 and July 1 when the astronauts will swap old nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the Starboard-6 truss structure.
Flight Engineers Doug Hurley of NASA and Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos teamed up Wednesday morning readying the jetpacks the spacewalkers would use in the unlikely event they became detached from the station. They later joined Cassidy and Behnken during the afternoon for a spacewalk review with engineers on the ground.
Cassidy was back on biology work this morning collecting and stowing his blood and urine samples to learn how microgravity affects the human body. Behnken and Hurley checked their Dragon crew suits and charged their crew ship’s computer tablets.
Vagner also had time for a trio of Russian experiments as he photographed the Earth, researched future spacecraft piloting techniques and studied plasma crystals. Fellow cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin was also studying plasma crystals today while researching the dynamic forces the station experiences in orbit.
The Red-Eye microsatellite was deployed into Earth orbit this afternoon using the NanoRacks Kaber Microsat deployer outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. The 110-kilogram Red-Eye will test satellite communications, flight computers and thermal management technologies.