The crew members of Expedition 66 are preparing to go outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk expected to begin at approximately 7:10 a.m. EST and last about six and a half hours.
The crew is in their spacesuits in the airlock in preparation to exit the space station and begin today’s activities that will focus on replacing a faulty antenna system. NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Mark Vande Hei are assisting Marshburn and Barron in preparations before they exit the station.
Marshburn and Barron will work at the Port 1 (P1) truss structure, where the antenna is mounted. The antenna recently lost its ability to send signals to Earth via NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. Although its degradation has had limited impact on station operations, mission managers decided to install a new antenna to ensure communications redundancy. The space station has additional low-rate S-band systems, as well as the high-rate KU-band communications system that relays video.
Leading the mission control team today is Flight Director Vincent LaCourt with support from Art Thomason as the lead spacewalk officer and NASA astronaut Drew Morgan acting as the capsule communicator, or CAPCOM, to the crew.
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