Sound Checks, Eye Scans as Crew Preps for Saturday Spacewalk

NASA spacewalkers (front left) Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins are pictured with (rear left) astronauts Kate Rubins and Soichi Noguchi before the start of spacewalk on  Jan. 27, 2021.
NASA spacewalkers (front left) Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins are pictured with (rear left) astronauts Kate Rubins and Soichi Noguchi before the start of a spacewalk on Jan. 27, 2021.

The Expedition 64 crew is wrapping up final preparations before two astronauts exit the International Space Station for a maintenance spacewalk on Saturday morning. The orbital residents also measured lab sound levels and checked their crewmates’ eyes to end the workweek.

NASA spacewalkers Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins will take part in their third spacewalk together on Saturday when they set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power at 7:30 a.m. EST. The duo is scheduled to spend about six-and-a-half hours servicing the station’s cooling system and communications gear. NASA TV begins its live coverage of the spacewalk activities at 6 a.m.

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Soichi Noguchi will assist the spacewalkers in and out of their suits on Saturday while monitoring the spacewalk. Glover and Hopkins readied their spacesuits and tools in the U.S. Quest airlock on Friday. The quartet also met for a final procedures review and a conference with spacewalk specialists in Mission Control.

Toward the end of the day, Rubins set up acoustic monitors and recorded sound levels emanating from the Life Science Glovebox operating inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory module. NASA astronaut Shannon Walker was the crew medical officer on Friday and scanned the eyes of cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov using an ultrasound device and optical coherence tomography.

The orbital lab will boost its orbit today at 2:09 p.m. placing it at the correct altitude for a crew swap taking place next month. The next crew to visit the station will launch aboard the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship on April 9 carrying NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. The trio will join the Expedition 64/65 crew for a six-month research mission in Earth orbit.

Finally, the Expedition 64 trio with Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov, will finish their mission on April 17 when their Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft undocks. They will parachute in their crew ship to a landing in Kazakhstan completing a six-month stay on the station.

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