Four Expedition 69 astronauts aboard the International Space Station worked throughout Tuesday preparing for a spacewalk and cleaning space biology hardware. Meanwhile, the orbiting lab’s three cosmonauts had an off-duty day following several days of their own spacewalk preparations.
Flight Engineers Stephen Bowen of NASA and Sultan Alneyadi of UAE (United Arab Emirates) spent Tuesday configuring their Extravehicular Mobility Units, or spacesuits, to get ready for a spacewalk set for 9:15 a.m. EDT on Friday. The duo also organized their spacewalking tools and inspected the tethers that will keep the spacewalkers safely attached to the station. The pair were joined in the afternoon by NASA Flight Engineers Woody Hoburg and Frank Rubio reviewing spacewalk procedures with mission controllers on the ground. The two spacewalkers will spend about six-and-a-half hours in the vacuum of space continuing the process of upgrading the station’s power generation system.
Hoburg and Rubio began their day deactivating and cleaning space biology hardware inside the Kibo laboratory module. The pair disconnected power cables and wiped down the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, a research incubator that housed samples that have since returned to Earth for analysis aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft.
Three cosmonauts are relaxing today after a busy period getting ready for a spacewalk that was originally planned for Tuesday. Roscosmos mission controllers opted to postpone the spacewalk for a few more days and continue studying the procedures necessary to move an experiment airlock from the Rassvet module to the Nauka science module. Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin will exit the Poisk airlock in their Orlan spacesuits to perform the logistics spacewalk. Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev will assist the spacewalkers from inside the station and operate the European robotic arm with the experiment airlock in its grip.
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