Crew Completes Spacewalk Preps and Studies Human Biology

Flight Engineer Bob Behnken (center) is pictured on July 1 during a spacewalk to swap an aging nickel-hydrogen battery for a new lithium-ion battery on the station's starboard truss structure.
Flight Engineer Bob Behnken (center) is pictured on July 1 during a spacewalk to swap an aging nickel-hydrogen battery for a new lithium-ion battery on the station’s starboard truss structure.

Two NASA astronauts finalized their preparations today, ahead of Thursday’s spacewalk, to complete battery swaps on the outside of the International Space Station. NASA Flight Engineer Bob Behnken and Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy organized their tools and readied the Quest airlock for the spacewalk set to begin tomorrow at 7:35 a.m.

NASA astronaut Doug Hurley joined the duo Wednesday afternoon for a spacewalk review and conference with specialists on the ground. Hurley will assist the astronauts in and out of their U.S. spacesuits and monitor their spacewalk activities.

The trio will stay in readiness mode for a second spacewalk scheduled to begin at the same time on Tuesday, July 21. They will finish swapping the aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the station’s truss structure that began 3.5 years ago. The veteran spacewalkers will then set up the Tranquility module for the upcoming installation of a NanoRacks airlock. The new commercial airlock will support public and private experiments exposed to the space environment.

All three astronauts started the day with standard health checks ahead of their spacewalk. Hurley took on the crew medical officer role and briefly examined his crewmates similar to a doctor conducting a checkup on Earth.

Meanwhile, cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner were back on human research duty this morning. The Russian duo collected and stowed blood and saliva samples for a pair of studies looking into bone loss and the immune system. The pair then split up as Ivanishin checked out communications gear and Vagner worked on Progress 75 resupply ship cargo transfers.

5 thoughts on “Crew Completes Spacewalk Preps and Studies Human Biology”

  1. I live in St. John in the USVI and witness the ISS going over us today. At the time I did not know what I was seeing, but i did point it out to my neighbors saying that it was either some kind of spy satellite or the ISS. A few hours later my neighbor posted on my FB page that it was the ISS and I was super excited to know that my suspicions were correct. I love watching the feeds and have spotted you a few times and am so proud and respect the work and sacrifices. I don’t know how many people feel this way because my neighbors did not seem impressed or even interested, but know that there are some that admire everything that is being researched and accomplished.

    ___ a simple human … respecting and admiring all that you do – Thank you – Liza

  2. I’m another one who appreciates an admires the dedications that
    EVERYONE at all the agency’s from all over the world have in their
    eagerness to make new discoveries in medical fields, in making new discoveries in humans exploring deeper into the universe perhaps outside of our universe. I’ve always loved looking into the night skies and learning about astronomy an what could be just around that next planet. I wish I had followed my dreams when I was young.
    THANKS to everyone aboard the station and on the ground for helping me to regain what I’ve been missing out on for many years. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD BLESS ALL INVOLVED IN THE ISS.

  3. God bless all on the ISS and all shipped out away to the moon! You are ALL truly, absolutely, remarkable, brave people. I am totally in awe at all your alls bravery and dedication. I admire you all. Thank you!!

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