Astronauts Go Into Weekend Prepping for Monday’s Spacewalk

NASA spacewalkers (front left) Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins are suited up and ready for the year’s first spacewalk as astronauts (rear left) Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA join them for a portrait.

Four Expedition 64 astronauts are going into the weekend preparing for a spacewalk on Monday for battery and high definition camera work. The other International Space Station residents will spend their time on research, maintenance and exercise.

Spacewalkers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover will partner with astronauts Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA over the weekend for spacewalk reviews, spacesuit checks and tool configurations. The quartet will also call down to mission controllers to discuss their readiness for Monday’s spacewalk.

The spacewalking duo will set their spacesuits to battery power about 7 a.m. EST signifying the official start time of their excursion. NASA TV will begin its live coverage at 5:30 a.m.

Hopkins’ and Glover’s first task Monday is to exit the Quest airlock and translate to the Port-4 truss structure for battery work. There they will install the final adapter plate and connect it to the final lithium-ion battery which is being robotically installed in advance of the spacewalk. This work will complete battery upgrades on the orbiting lab that had begun on previous station missions.

Next, the duo will maneuver to the opposite side of the station toward their starboard truss worksite and remove and replace high definition cameras then route ethernet cables. Finally, they will install a wrist vision camera on the Kibo laboratory module’s robotic arm.

During the spacewalk preparations on Friday, NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker tested the comfort of the experimental AstroRad radiation protection vest during an exercise session. She then installed tracking gear on an Astrobee robotic free flyer being tested for its ability to assist astronauts.

Walker later joined Rubins as crew medical officer and scanned the eyes of Hopkins and Noguchi with an ultrasound device. The ultrasound scans look at the crew member’s cornea, lens and optic nerve to gain  insights into eye and vision health in space.

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