Spacewalk, Science and BEAM Work Keeping Crew Busy

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is pictured during a spacewalk to install solar array modification kits on the space station.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is pictured during a spacewalk to install solar array modification kits on the space station.

Two astronauts are gearing up for another spacewalk scheduled this Friday to continue maintenance on the outside of the International Space Station. The rest of the Expedition 64 crew set up advanced research hardware and also entered BEAM for cargo activities.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is readying tools and reviewing procedures for Friday’s spacewalk to continue installing solar array modification kits begun during Sunday’s spacewalk. She was joined by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Soichi Noguchi on Tuesday as he assisted with spacesuit preparations. Flight Engineer Victor Glover partnered with Noguchi for the spacesuit work and collected water samples from the suits for microbial analysis.

Rubins and Noguchi will set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power inside the U.S. Quest airlock around 7 a.m. EST signifying the start of their spacewalk. NASA TV will begin its live coverage of the planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk at 5:30 a.m.

NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker checked out radiation and biological gear today. She first deployed an experimental radiation detector to validate its use on future Orion spacecraft carrying crews to the Moon. Next, Walker powered up the Bio-Analyzer for upcoming cellular and molecular analysis work aboard the orbiting lab.

Walker also joined Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins opening up the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, for cargo work. The duo stowed hardware and replaced a wireless sensors inside the commercial module.

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov focused on Russian science experiments in the station’s Russian segment. Ryzhikov wore a portable electrocardiogram that will record his electrical heart signals for 24 hours. Kud-Sverchkov serviced biology gear that enables investigations of cell cultures exposed to microgravity.

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