Two spacewalkers and their assistants are in final preparations one day before the first of two excursions begins to install new solar arrays. The rest of the Expedition 65 crew focused on science and maintenance activities at the International Space Station.
Two astronauts, Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), will set their spacesuits to battery power at 8 a.m. EDT on Wednesday signifying the start of their spacewalk. The duo will exit the U.S. Quest airlock and maneuver to the Port-6 truss structure to install the first of two roll-out solar arrays. They will go out again on Sunday at the same time to install the second set of solar arrays. NASA TV will broadcast both spacewalks from start to finish starting at 6:30 a.m. EDT each day.
They will be assisted by NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei who will help the astronauts in and out of their suits and provide robotics support. All four astronauts spent Wednesday readying the Quest airlock and calling down to specialists for a final spacewalk procedure review.
Over in the Japanese Kibo laboratory module, Commander Akihiko Hoshide worked on a variety of research hardware. The three-time space station visitor cleaned up the Life Science Glovebox and checked on combustion research electronics gear inside the Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack.
In the station’s Russian segment, cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy continued unloading the Pirs docking compartment and preparing it for its undocking and departure later this year. Roscosmos Pyotr Dubrov photographed the interior of the Russian modules for analysis on Earth.