Busy Day as U.S., Russian Crews Get Ready for Spacewalks

Spacewalker Thomas Pesquet is attached to the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm to install the station's second new solar array on June 25, 2021.
Spacewalker Thomas Pesquet is attached to the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm to install the station’s second new solar array on June 25, 2021.

All seven Expedition 65 crew members are gearing up three spacewalks the first of which is set to start next week. Two astronauts will go on the first spacewalk then two cosmonauts will conduct the second and third spacewalks. The other three crewmates will provide support to the spacewalkers.

The first spacewalk on Aug. 24 will see Commander Akihiko Hoshide and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei spend about six hours and 50 minutes setting up the Port-4 (P4) truss structure for future Roll-Out Solar Array installation work. They will install a modification kit on P4 that prepares the site for the third of six new solar arrays planned for the station.

Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Thomas Pesquet reviewed their spacewalk support roles today including controlling the Canadarm2 robotic arm and helping the duo in and out of their U.S. spacesuits. Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough also spent several hours Wednesday morning assembling the solar array modification kit that Hoshide and Vande Hei will install next week.

On the other side of the station in the Russian segment, cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are preparing for two of their own spacewalks planned for early September. They are continuing to organize their spacewalk tools and equipment in the Poisk module‘s airlock. The duo will exit Poisk for both excursions and ready the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module for science operations.

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