Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover spent Monday configuring the hardware they will install on Europe’s Columbus laboratory module during Wednesday’s spacewalk. The spacewalkers will attach a new antenna and route cables on the Bartolomeo science platform outside Columbus.
Hopkins and Glover will set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power around 7 a.m. EST Wednesday signifying the start of their spacewalk. NASA TV will begin its live coverage at 5:30 a.m. as both astronauts prepare to exit the station’s Quest airlock into the vacuum of space.
Their fellow astronauts Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA will assist Hopkins and Glover during the first spacewalk. The duo practiced robotics maneuvers today on a computer and reviewed spacewalk procedures. Rubins will be the prime operator of the Canadarm2 robotic arm, with Noguchi backing her up, to assist both spacewalkers.
The second spacewalk will take place on Feb. 1 with the same two spacewalkers. This time they will wrap up battery maintenance on the port side of the orbiting lab’s truss structure. The duo will then move over to the Kibo laboratory module to remove and replace high-definition video cameras. NASA TV will again start at 5:30 a.m. with the spacewalk set to begin about 7 a.m.
The three other crew members aboard the orbiting lab focused on space research and lab maintenance throughout Monday.
NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker explored ways to produce vitamins and other nutrients to enhance a crew member’s diet while living in space for the BioNutrients study. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov joined his fellow cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov for Russian research in the morning. Ryzhikov then moved on to packing a Russian cargo craft ahead of its Feb. 9 departure. Kud-Sverchkov worked on Earth observations then serviced computer gear.