Station Awaits One Dragon, Five Spacewalks Before End of Year

Astronaut Nicole Mann (center) assists astronauts Josh Cassada (left) and Frank Rubio (right), suited up in their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU), or spacesuits, before starting a spacewalk on Nov. 15, 2022.
Astronaut Nicole Mann (center) assists astronauts Josh Cassada (left) and Frank Rubio (right), suited up in their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU), or spacesuits, before starting a spacewalk on Nov. 15, 2022.

The International Space Station is due to welcome a U.S. cargo craft after it launches from Florida next week. In the meantime, the Expedition 68 crew is staying focused on completing five more spacewalks for assembly and installation work before the end of the year.

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship is due to lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 3:54 p.m. EST on Tuesday and take a daylong trip to the orbiting lab. It will automatically dock to the space-facing, or zenith port, on the station’s Harmony module at 5:57 a.m. on Wednesday. Dragon is delivering new space agriculture and biotechnology studies, as well as the next pair of rollout solar arrays to augment the station’s power generation system. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, begins its launch coverage at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday and docking coverage at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

After Dragon completes is delivery mission to the space station, robotics controllers on the ground will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to extract two rollout solar arrays from inside the U.S. space freighter’s trunk. The remotely controlled Canadarm2 will then stage the rollout solar arrays on truss segment attachment points to be retrieved on a pair of spacewalks planned for Nov. 29 and Dec. 3. Two yet-to-be-named Expedition 68 astronauts will remove the rollout solar arrays from their attachment points then install them at the base of the two main solar arrays on both the port and starboard truss segments.

NASA Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann trained Friday on a computer for Dragon’s automated arrival on Monday. The duo studied approach and docking procedures and reviewed the upcoming cargo unpacking activities. The astronauts were joined at the end of the day by Flight Engineers Frank Rubio of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for a conference with NASA and SpaceX mission controllers.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin completed the first of four planned Russian spacewalks this year at 4:07 p.m. EST Thursday. The two Roscosmos cosmonauts spent six hours and 25 minutes in their Orlan spacesuits preparing a radiator for its relocation from the Rassvet module to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module where it will be installed on an upcoming spacewalk.

The duo has three more spacewalks to complete before the end of the year with the next excursion set for Friday, Nov. 25. The Roscosmos spacewalkers, with assistance from the European Robotic Arm (ERA) controlled by Flight Engineer Anna Kikina, will move the radiator from Rassvet to Nauka and make electrical and hydraulic connections. The next two Russian spacewalks, on Dec. 6 and 21, will see Rassvet’s airlock transferred and installed to Nauka using the ERA, then the deployment of the newly relocated radiator attached to Nauka.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cosmonauts Finish Spacewalk for Work on Science Module

Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin work on the outside of the Rassvet module on Nov. 17, 2022, during the first of four Russian maintenance spacewalks planned before the end of the year. Credit: NASA TV
Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin work on the outside of the Rassvet module on Nov. 17, 2022, during the first of four Russian maintenance spacewalks planned before the end of the year. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 68 Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin, both of Roscosmos, concluded their spacewalk at 4:07 p.m. EST after 6 hours and 25 minutes.

Prokopyev and Petelin completed their major objective, preparing a radiator on the Rassvet module for installation on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

This was the third spacewalk in Prokopyev’s career, and the first for Petelin. It was the tenth spacewalk at the station in 2022 and the 255th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cosmonauts Begin First in a Series of Spacewalks for Station Maintenance

Spacewalkers Prokopyev and Petelin opened the hatch of the Poisk airlock at 9:39 a.m. EST today, beginning their spacewalk.
Spacewalkers Prokopyev and Petelin opened the hatch of the Poisk airlock at 9:39 a.m. EST today, beginning their spacewalk.

Expedition 68 Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin, both of Roscosmos, began a spacewalk at 9:39 a.m. EST to prepare hardware on the Rassvet module for installation on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module by opening the hatch of the Poisk docking compartment airlock. Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

The duo is preparing a radiator on Rassvet for its move to Nauka.

Prokopyev is wearing a Russian spacesuit with red stripes, while Petelin is wearing a Russian suit with blue stripes. This is the third spacewalk in Prokopyev’s career, and the first for Petelin. It is the tenth spacewalk at the station in 2022 and the 255th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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NASA TV Coverage of Roscosmos Spacewalk is Underway 

Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev is pictured during his first spacewalk on Aug. 15, 2018, laying cables on the outside of the Zvezda service module.
Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev is pictured during his first spacewalk on Aug. 15, 2018, laying cables on the outside of the Zvezda service module.

NASA Television coverage is underway of today’s spacewalk with Roscosmos cosmonauts to prepare hardware on the Rassvet module for installation on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Coverage of the spacewalk is on NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s website.

Expedition 68 Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin, both of Roscosmos, will prepare a radiator on Rassvet for its move to Nauka.

Prokopyev and Petelin will exit out of the Poisk module about 9:20 a.m. EST to begin the approximately seven-hour excursion. Prokopyev will wear a Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes, while Petelin will wear a Russian Orlan suit with blue stripes.

This will be the third spacewalk for Prokopyev and the first for Petelin. It will be the tenth spacewalk at the station in 2022 and the 255th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cosmonauts Prep for Thursday Spacewalk, Dragon Targets Monday Launch

Astronaut Frank Rubio is pictured during a spacewalk on Nov. 15, 2022, tethered to the space station's starboard truss structure during an orbital sunset.
Astronaut Frank Rubio is pictured during a spacewalk on Nov. 15, 2022, tethered to the space station’s starboard truss structure during an orbital sunset.

Two Roscosmos cosmonauts are finalizing their preparations for a spacewalk on Thursday for hardware transfers and electronics connections on the International Space Station. Meanwhile, two NASA astronauts are cleaning up after a spacewalk on Tuesday readying the orbiting lab for a pair of rollout solar arrays to be installed beginning at the end of the month.

Station Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin are in final preparations for Thursday’s spacewalk set to begin at 9:20 a.m. EST to prepare a radiator and an airlock for installation on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anna Kikina will operate the European robotic arm from inside Nauka and assist the duo working in the microgravity environment in their Orlan spacesuits. NASA TV will begin live coverage of the spacewalk at 9 a.m. on the agency’s app and website.

NASA Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio spent seven hours and 11 minutes working outside the orbiting lab on Tuesday in their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), or spacesuits. The duo assembled a mounting bracket on the station’s starboard truss structure where new rollout solar arrays will be installed on upcoming spacewalks before the end of the year.

Today, the duo along with fellow Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) called down to mission controllers and discussed Tuesday’s space activities. Cassada and Mann also partnered together refilling spacesuit water tanks and powering down suit components. Mann then joined Rubio collecting spacewalk hardware and suit cameras for sharing with the cosmonauts who will conduct the next spacewalk.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is targeting the launch of its Dragon cargo craft atop the Falcon 9 rocket to the space station at 4:19 p.m. on Monday. Dragon will take a day-and-a-half-long trip to the station carrying the next pair of rollout solar arrays, new science experiments, station gear, and crew supplies. It will dock automatically to the Harmony module’s space-facing, or zenith port, Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 9:43 a.m.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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NASA Astronauts Complete Spacewalk to Prep for Upcoming Solar Array Upgrades

NASA Astronaut Josh Cassada enters the airlock at the end of Tuesday’s spacewalk to prepare the station for upcoming solar array upgrades.
NASA Astronaut Josh Cassada enters the airlock at the end of Tuesday’s spacewalk to prepare the station for upcoming solar array upgrades. Credit: NASA TV.

Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 4:25 p.m. EST after 7 hours and 11 minutes in preparation for upcoming solar array installation.

Cassada and Rubio completed the majority of the primary objectives for today to assemble a mounting bracket on the starboard side of the station’s truss assembly in preparation for the installation of a pair of International Space Station Rollout Solar Arrays (iROSAs).

The duo completed the routing of cables on the 3A power channel, and began the installation process of a modification kit on the 1B power channel, which will act as a scaffolding for the new solar arrays. The crew deferred some planned tasks associated with the completion of the modification kit, including the installation of collars, and the routing of cables for the 1B power channel. The remaining work will be completed during a future spacewalk prior to the arrival of the solar arrays for the 1B power channel, and no changes are planned for the next two upcoming U.S. spacewalks.

It was the 254th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades and maintenance, and was the first spacewalk for both astronauts. Cassada and Rubio are in the midst of a planned six-month science mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions, including lunar missions through NASA’s Artemis program.

The next two U.S. spacewalks are scheduled on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Dec. 3. On Nov. 29, two astronauts will install an iROSA for the 3A power channel, and on Dec. 3 a pair of astronauts will install an iROSA on the port truss for the 4A power channel. These will be the third and fourth iROSAs out of a total six planned for installation. The iROSAs will increase power generation capability by up to 30%, increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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NASA Astronauts Begin Spacewalk for Solar Array Work

NASA astronauts (from left) Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio are pictured during spacewalk training at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
NASA astronauts (from left) Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio are pictured during spacewalk training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio of NASA began a spacewalk at 9:14 a.m. EST to assemble a mounting bracket on the starboard side of the station’s truss assembly in preparation for the installation of a pair of International Space Station Rollout Solar Arrays on the space station.

Cassada, designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), is wearing a suit with red stripes. Rubio, designated extravehicular crewmember 2 (EV 2), is in an unmarked suit. Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Astronauts Continue Preparing for Spacewalk

Astronauts Koichi Wakata and Nicole Mann close the hatch to the Quest airlock where astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio are positioned to begin a spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV
Astronauts Koichi Wakata and Nicole Mann close the hatch to the Quest airlock where astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio are positioned to begin a spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

Crew members on the International Space Station continue to prepare NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio to exit the space station’s Quest airlock for a spacewalk outside of the microgravity laboratory.

The approximately seven hour spacewalk will officially begin as the duo switches to the battery power in their suits prior to leaving the airlock. NASA Television coverage is underway and also is available on the NASA app, the space station blog and the agency’s website.

During the spacewalk, Cassada and Rubio will assemble a mounting bracket on the starboard side of the station’s truss assembly in preparation for the installation of a pair of International Space Station Rollout Solar Arrays (iROSAs) during upcoming spacewalks.

Cassada will serve as extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1) and will wear a suit with red stripes. Rubio will serve as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2) and will wear the unmarked suit. The spacewalk will be the first for both Cassada and Rubio.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Spacewalkers Prepare for Solar Array Work Live on NASA TV

The first rollout solar arrays were installed during a spacewalk on June 16, 2021, by astronauts (from left) Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet.
The first rollout solar arrays were installed during a spacewalk on June 16, 2021, by astronauts (from left) Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio is now underway and also is available on the NASA app, the space station blog and the agency’s website.

The crew members of Expedition 68 are preparing to exit the International Space Station‘s Quest airlock for a spacewalk expected to begin about 8 a.m. EST and last approximately seven hours.

Cassada and Rubio will assemble a mounting bracket on the starboard side of the station’s truss assembly in preparation for the installation of a pair of International Space Station Rollout Solar Arrays (iROSAs) during upcoming spacewalks.

Cassada will serve as extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1) and will wear a suit with red stripes. Rubio will serve as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2) and will wear the unmarked suit. The spacewalk will be the first for both Cassada and Rubio.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Station Crew Gets Ready for Pair of Spacewalks This Week

NASA astronauts (from left) Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio will exit the space station on Tuesday for a spacewalk to continue upgrading the station's power generation system.
NASA astronauts (from left) Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio will exit the space station on Tuesday for a spacewalk to continue upgrading the station’s power generation system.

Two astronauts and two cosmonauts are gearing up for a pair of spacewalks this week at the International Space Station. Their Expedition 68 crewmates assisted the spacewalkers with preparations on Monday while also continuing science and maintenance on the orbiting lab.

NASA Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio are set to exit the space station after setting their spacesuits to battery power at 8 a.m. EST on Tuesday signifying the start of their spacewalk. The duo will work on the starboard side of the station’s truss structure and spend about seven hours assembling a mounting bracket to enable the future installation of rollout solar arrays. The new rollout solar arrays will augment the space station’s power generation system.

The spacewalking pair was joined by astronauts Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency reviewing Tuesday’s assembly tasks and organizing tools in the Quest airlock. Mann and Wakata will help the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits and monitor the duo while they work outside the station. Mann also had a few moments set aside on Monday to service NanoRacks science hardware while Wakata configured a research incubator with an artificial gravity generator.

A second spacewalk is planned for Thursday when cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin exit the space station to work on the outside the of Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. The pair from Roscosmos tried on their Orlan spacesuits, simulated spacewalk procedures, and installed suit components throughout Monday. Prokopyev and Petelin will spend about seven hours on Thursday preparing a radiator for transfer from the Rassvet module to Nauka.

Cosmonaut Anna Kikina assisted the Roscosmos spacewalkers in and out of their Orlan spacesuits on Monday. The first time space-flyer also checked radiation detectors and inspected laptop computers in the Zvezda service module.

Both spacewalks will be broadcast live on NASA TV on the agency’s app and website. Tuesday’s spacewalk coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. while Thursday’s spacewalk coverage will begin at 9 a.m.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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