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.

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