Afternoon of Spacewalk Preps during Full Day of Physics, Biology

NASA spacewalker Shane Kimbrough is pictured during a spacewalk to install new roll out solar arrays on the International Space Station's Port-6 truss structure.
NASA spacewalker Shane Kimbrough is pictured during a spacewalk to install new roll out solar arrays on the International Space Station’s Port-6 truss structure.

Wednesday was a light duty day for the five Expedition 65 astronauts, two of whom will go on their third spacewalk this month. The two Russian flight engineers aboard the International Space Station stayed  focused on cardiac research and plasma crystal physics throughout the day.

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet joined NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei for robotics training ahead of Friday’s spacewalk. The quartet reviewed and practiced robotics maneuvers on a computer planned to support the installation of the station’s second roll out solar array.

Kimbrough and Pesquet will begin their third spacewalk in nine days on Friday at 8 a.m. EDT when they set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power. The veteran spacewalkers will spend about six-and-a-half hours on the Port-6 truss structure installing the second roll out solar array on the opposite side of where they installed the first solar array. NASA TV, on the agency’s website and the NASA app, will begin its live coverage at 6:30 a.m.

All four astronauts, including Commander Akihiko Hoshide, spent the morning relaxing following a busy period during the first two solar array installation spacewalks. Hoshide had a full day of rest as the other four astronauts spent the afternoon concentrating on Friday’s spacewalk preparations.

In the orbiting lab’s Russian segment, Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy continued trapping clouds of particles using both neon and argon gas for a plasma crystal experiment. He also joined cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov attaching electrodes to themselves and monitoring their cardiac activity before exercise activities. Dubrov also worked on a navigation study to precisely predict the location of the space station during its orbit.

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