Weekend Starts with Spacewalk Preps and Space Science

Astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Akihiko Hoshide check their U.S. spacesuits to get ready for a spacewalk prepare the station for its third Roll-Out Solar Array.
Astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Akihiko Hoshide check their U.S. spacesuits to get ready for a spacewalk prepare the station for its third Roll-Out Solar Array.

The Expedition 65 crew is going into the weekend preparing for a spacewalk on Tuesday while juggling a variety of microgravity research.

Astronauts Mark Vande Hei of NASA and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are less than a week away from exiting the U.S. Quest airlock to prepare the International Space Station for its third Roll-Out Solar Array. The two spacewalkers have been gearing up all week checking their spacesuits, configuring their tools, and reviewing their procedures for the planned six-hour and 50-minute excursion.

They will set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. EDT signifying the start of their spacewalk with NASA TV, NASA app, and agency website coverage beginning at 7 a.m.  NASA TV will also broadcast a briefing on Monday at 2 p.m. discussing Tuesday’s spacewalk activities.

The spacewalkers will be assisted by Flight Engineers Megan McArthur of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency). The pair joined Vande Hei and Hoshide today for more spacewalk reviews and a conference with experts on the ground.

Vande Hei, despite preparations for his fifth career spacewalk, also had time today for biology research taking microscopic photographs of engineered tissue samples for the Cardinal Muscle investigation. Observations may help doctors learn how to treat space-caused muscle loss and Earth-bound muscle conditions.

NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough spent his day on human research, physics and botany duties aboard the orbiting lab. First, he collected his urine samples and stowed them in a science freezer for later analysis as part of the Repository human research study. Following that, Kimbrough opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and swapped fuel bottles to support research into flames and fuels in microgravity. Finally, the three-time space visitor cleaned up debris around the Plant Habitat Facility that is growing Hatch chiles for the Plant Habitat-04 experiment.

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov spent Friday unpacking hardware and testing cable connections between the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module and the Zvezda service module. The Russian Flight Engineers will also exit the Poisk module’s airlock twice in early September for more configuration work on the outside of Nauka.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Starts with Spacewalk Preps and Space Science”

  1. Have enjoyed all the interviews with students. The space walks are super! It is an awesome sight! To think that I am living to witness the first space flight up to now! Thank you for making it possible to see all this !!

  2. Hi there

    We are @30mins north of Christchurch New Zealand and we – my son aged 11yrs, daughter 9yrs – have been excited to see ISS just go past which has taken us to this website with lots of great info.

    Thank you heaps

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