Astronauts Ready for Wednesday Science Upgrades Spacewalk

NASA astronauts Victor Glover (left) and Michael Hopkins work on U.S. spacesuit maintenance inside the International Space Station's Quest airlock.
NASA astronauts Victor Glover (left) and Michael Hopkins work on U.S. spacesuit maintenance inside the International Space Station’s Quest airlock.

Two NASA astronauts are ready for the first spacewalk of the year on Wednesday with support from two of their fellow Expedition 64 Flight Engineers. The rest of the crew aboard the International Space Station kept up research and life support operations today.

Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover will exit the Quest airlock after setting their spacesuits to battery power tomorrow about 7 a.m. EST. They will maneuver to the Columbus laboratory module and spend about six-and-a-half hours outfitting its Bartolomeo science platform with an antenna and cables. NASA TV will begin live coverage of all the spacewalk activities at 5:30 a.m.

The spacewalkers will be supported by Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA throughout the duration of the excursion. Rubins will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm as Noguchi backs her up. They will also help Hopkins and Glover in and out of their spacesuits.

The quartet got together in the middle of the day for a final procedures review with specialists in Mission Control. Afterward, Hopkins and Glover staged their tools and safety tethers inside Quest where they take them into the vacuum of space.

The three other station residents rolled on with space science, cargo operations and life support maintenance.

NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker set up fluid physics hardware for an experiment seeking ways to improve spacecraft systems such as fuel tanks and propulsion. Roscosmos Commander Sergey Ryzhikov refueled the Progress 76 resupply ship ahead of its Feb. 9 departure.  Cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov worked on a navigation computer and checked on Earth observation and radiation studies.

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