Two United States operating segment spacewalks outside the International Space Station have been rescheduled for no earlier than Thursday, Oct. 19, and Monday, Oct. 30, as a result of ongoing review by NASA managers and engineers after a coolant leak from a backup radiator on the station’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
The spacewalks were deferred from their original target dates to allow engineers additional time to complete their analysis of the coolant leak, which occurred on Oct. 9 and has now stopped.
During the first spacewalk NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen will exit the station’s Quest airlock to collect samples for analysis to see whether microorganisms may exist on the exterior of the orbital complex. They also will replace a high-definition camera on the port truss of the station and conduct other maintenance work to prepare for future spacewalks.
O’Hara will serve as extravehicular activity (EVA) crew member 1 and will wear a suit with red stripes. Mogensen will serve as extravehicular crew member 2 and will wear an unmarked suit. U.S. Spacewalk 89 will be the first spacewalk for both crew members.
During the second spacewalk, O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli will complete the removal of a faulty electronics box, called a Radio Frequency Group, from a communications antenna bracket and replace one of twelve Trundle Bearing Assemblies on the port truss Solar Alpha Rotary Joint. The bearings enable the station’s solar arrays to rotate properly to track the sun as the station orbits the Earth. During this spacewalk, Moghbeli will serve as EVA crew member 1 and O’Hara will serve as EVA crew member 2. U.S. Spacewalk 90 will be the first spacewalk for Moghbeli and second for O’Hara.
Details on times for the spacewalks are being reviewed and times for live coverage on NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app and will be shared once available.
Cargo operations and maintenance filled the Expedition 70 crew’s day as International Space Station managers and engineers continued reviewing the ceased leak data. In the meantime, two cosmonauts are also gearing up for their own spacewalk.
Astronauts Loral O’Hara of NASA and Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) were back on cargo duty Thursday morning. The duo continued unpacking cargo from the Cygnus space freighter and loaded trash and discarded items for disposal aboard the commercial cargo craft. Cygnus delivered several tons of science and supplies on Aug. 2 and will depart the station and complete its mission in December.
O’Hara also worked on the Cold Atom Lab completing the installation of new science components and reconnection of cables on the quantum physics research device. Furukawa collected drinking water samples for processing and analysis in the Destiny laboratory module.
Commander Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) along with NASA Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli spent a few moments on Thursday checking out spacesuit components including safety jetpacks and other gear. Mogensen would also photograph the condition of the Columbus laboratory module and perform educational science activities. Moghbeli inspected and cleaned hatch seals in the station’s U.S. segment then cleared away items blocking ventilation systems and narrowing passage between modules.
Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub continued preparing for their spacewalk scheduled on Oct. 25 to install new hardware and deploy a nanosatellite. The pair from Roscosmos collected and organized their spacewalking tools inside the Poisk airlock where the planned six-hour and 45-minute spacewalk will begin. Kononenko also jogged on the Zvezda service module’s treadmill for in a physical fitness evaluation. Chub worked in Nauka testing the performance of laptop computers.
Roscosmos Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov spent most of his day on a variety of maintenance tasks as he serviced life support gear and panels inside the Nauka module. Borisov also transferred water from the Progress 85 cargo craft into the station and jogged on the treadmill for a fitness test after Kononenko.
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