NASA TV is Live as Two Astronauts Prep for Spacewalk

Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Nicole Mann and Koichi Wakata pose with an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), also known as a spacesuit on Dec. 28, 2022.
Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Nicole Mann and Koichi Wakata pose with an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), also known as a spacesuit on Dec. 28, 2022.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata is now underway and is also available on the NASA app, the space station blog and the agency’s website.

The two Expedition 68 crew members are preparing to exit the International Space Station‘s Quest airlock for a spacewalk expected to begin at about 8:15 a.m. EST and last approximately the six-and-a-half-hours.

Mann and Wakata will work to complete the installation of two mounting platforms as part of planned solar array augmentation on the starboard side of the space station’s truss. The duo will complete the installation of a mounting platform on the 1B power channel that was started during a previous spacewalk, and begin installing a mounting platform on the 1A power channel.

The installation is part of a series of spacewalks to augment the International Space Station’s power channels with new International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs). Four iROSAs have been installed so far, and two more will be mounted to the platforms installed during this spacewalk in the future.

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


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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Crew Ready for Spacewalk and Conducts Biology, Physics Research

Astronaut Koichi Wakata wears virtual reality goggles aboard the space station while training for a spacewalk.
Astronaut Koichi Wakata wears virtual reality goggles aboard the space station while training for a spacewalk.

The first spacewalk of 2023 will begin on Friday to continue upgrading the International Space Station’s power generation system. The Expedition 68 crew members finalized preparations today for the excursion while continuing advanced space research and orbital lab maintenance.

Astronauts Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Nicole Mann of NASA are due to spend about six-and-a-half hours working outside the station during a spacewalk on Friday. The two flight engineers will turn the batteries on inside their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), or spacesuits, at 8:15 a.m. EST signifying the start of a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk. The duo will work on the far end of the station’s starboard truss structure in their EMUs and install a modification kit enabling the future installation of a roll-out solar array. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, will begin its live spacewalk coverage at 7 a.m.

Wakata and Mann were joined on Thursday by NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio for final spacewalk preparations. The two spacewalkers along with Rubio staged tools and hardware inside the Quest airlock during the morning. The trio then spent the afternoon reviewing spacewalk steps and procedures before readying the two spacesuits for operations.

NASA Flight Engineer Josh Cassada focused on science activities throughout Thursday conducting biology and physics research. Cassada began his day in the Kibo laboratory module setting up the Life Science Glovebox to observe biological samples and explore new ways to heal bone conditions on and off the Earth. In the afternoon, he moved over to the Destiny laboratory module exchanging samples inside the Materials Science Research Rack for a study exploring semiconductor crystal growth in space.

The orbiting lab’s three cosmonauts kept up their schedule of ongoing microgravity research and lab upkeep on Thursday. Commander Sergey Prokopyev packed the ISS Progress 81 resupply ship with trash and discarded gear before more conducting more tests on a 3-D printer monitoring the device for excessive noise. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin spent all day Thursday servicing life support hardware and electronics gear. Flight Engineer Anna Kikina began her day with a hearing assessment then checked radiation detectors before finally studying future spacecraft and robotic piloting techniques on a computer.


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 Seat Liner Move

The Full Moon is pictured behind the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship while the space station was orbiting above southern Brazil.
The Full Moon is pictured behind the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship while the space station was orbiting above southern Brazil.

On Jan. 17, NASA Flight Engineer Josh Cassada, with assistance from NASA Flight Engineer Nicole Mann, worked inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship collecting tools and readying the spacecraft for a seat liner move. The seat liner move, completed today, Jan. 18, ensures NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio will be able to return to Earth in the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation from the International Space Station. Rubio originally launched to the station with cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin aboard the Soyuz MS-22 crew ship on Sept. 21, 2022. The change allows for increased crew protection by reducing the heat load inside the MS-22 spacecraft for Prokopyev and Petelin in case of an emergency return to Earth.


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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Crew Works on Spacewalk Preparations and Science Hardware

Astronaut Josh Cassada conducts research operations inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a space physics study.
Astronaut Josh Cassada conducts research operations inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a space physics study.

Spacewalk preparations are continuing aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 68 crew ensures the operations of research hardware in microgravity.

Flight Engineers Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are scheduled for their first spacewalk together at the end of the week. The astronauts spent a couple of hours on Tuesday morning reviewing procedures they will use to install power upgrades hardware that will ready the orbiting lab for its next roll-out solar array on a future spacewalk.

The duo will set their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), or spacesuits, to battery power at 8:15 a.m. EST on Friday signifying the beginning of their spacewalk. Mann and Wakata are expected to work outside in the vacuum of space for about six-and-a-half hours on the starboard side of the space station’s truss structure.

Mann wrapped up her day removing a small satellite deployer from inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock. Wakata began his day demonstrating simple space physics experiments for children on Earth before finally calibrating components inside the Combustion Integrated Rack.

NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio spent Tuesday morning tending to research samples and servicing a variety of science gear. Rubio started the day in the Destiny laboratory module nourishing samples and cleaning hardware for a study exploring ways to heal bone conditions on and off the Earth. Rubio then spent the afternoon inside the Columbus laboratory module connecting communications and networking hardware.

NASA astronaut Josh Cassada watered tomato plants growing for the Veg-05 space botany study. Cassada ended his day gathering hardware and setting up Kibo’s Life Science Glovebox for upcoming operations for the bone condition study.

Prokopyev and Petelin spent Tuesday working inside a pair Progress resupply ships on both cargo transfers and air and water tank maintenance. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anna Kikina worked inside the Zarya module replacing electronics hardware.


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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Spacewalk Preps Continue as Soyuz Seat Move Planned as Precaution

Astronauts Koichi Wakata and Nicole Mann are pictured inside the space station's Destiny laboratory module.
Astronauts Koichi Wakata and Nicole Mann are pictured inside the space station’s Destiny laboratory module.

Spacewalk preparations continue onboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 68 crew begins it weekend. The orbital residents also worked on space botany and robotics while maintaining orbital lab operations on Friday.

Astronauts Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) worked throughout Friday familiarizing themselves with an upcoming spacewalk. The pair was joined by NASA Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio for computerized spacewalk training and a conference with specialists on the ground. Two astronauts are scheduled exit the station and mount hardware on the truss structure readying the orbital lab for its next roll-out solar array.

Cassada also continued tending to tomato plants growing for the Veg-05 space botany study and worked on cargo transfers inside the Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman. Rubio inspected emergency hardware than took a computerized robotics test to remain proficient when operating the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Wakata repaired components on a multipurpose small payload rack in the Kibo laboratory module that supports a wide variety of research and educational activities in space. Mann spent some time tightening screws on the advanced resistive exercise device located in the Tranquility module.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos worked on a variety of maintenance tasks inside the Zvezda service module on Friday. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin transferred cargo from inside the ISS Progress 82 cargo craft and updated the station’s inventory management system. Flight Engineer Anna Kikina set up video equipment to record an exercise session then tested laptop computers inside the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

On Thursday, Jan. 12, the International Space Station mission management team polled “go” to move NASA astronaut Frank Rubio’s Soyuz seat liner from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft to Dragon Endurance to provide lifeboat capabilities in the event Rubio would need to return to Earth because of an emergency evacuation from the space station. The seat liner move is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 17, with installation and configuration continuing through most of the day Wednesday, Jan. 18. The change allows for increased crew protection by reducing the heat load inside the MS-22 spacecraft for cosmonauts Prokopyev and Petelin in the event of an emergency return to Earth.

Once the replacement Soyuz MS-23 arrives at the space station on Feb. 22, Rubio’s seat liner will be transferred to the new Soyuz and the seat liners for Prokopyev and Petelin will be moved from MS-22 to MS-23 ahead of their return in the Soyuz.


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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Crew Splits Day on Spacesuits and Space Science

Astronaut Nicole Mann poses with an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), also known as a spacesuit, aboard the space station.
Astronaut Nicole Mann poses with an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), also known as a spacesuit, aboard the space station.

The seven Expedition 68 crew members split their day between spacesuits and space science. A spacewalk to upgrade the International Space Station’s power system is planned soon as advanced microgravity research is ongoing aboard the orbital lab.

Astronauts Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) partnered together inside the Quest airlock readying a pair of Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), or spacesuits, for an upcoming spacewalk. The pair were joined by NASA Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Josh Cassada checking EMU components and preparing Quest ahead of the next spacewalk to prepare the station for its next roll-out solar array.

Meanwhile, space research is continuously taking place aboard the space station whether the experiments are operated manually by the astronauts, remotely by scientists on Earth, or autonomously with little to no inputs from crew members or payload specialists.

Wakata started his day in the Kibo laboratory module working on video components and cables to support research observation activities. Mann swapped a hard drive and installed new software on a laptop computer providing scientific data and command capabilities for an EXPRESS rack.

Cassada worked on a pair of research facilities on Thursday swapping fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack then watering tomato plants growing inside the Veggie space botany system. Rubio serviced the Confocal space microscope that provides fluorescence imagery of biological samples providing fundamental insights into cellular and tissue characteristics.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev set up Earth observation hardware on Thursday morning before activating a 3-D printer and printing test samples. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin studied the physics of fluids exposed to magnetic and electric fields in microgravity. Flight Engineer Anna Kikina spent her day on electronics maintenance charging equipment and checking cable connections.


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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International Space Station Operations, Soyuz Status Update

NASA and Roscosmos are adjusting the International Space Station flight plan after completing an investigation into a coolant leak on the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked to the station.

NASA hosted a joint media briefing Wednesday about the Roscosmos-led investigation to update the public on the Soyuz status and the forward strategy.

As a part of the work, Roscosmos engineers determined the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft is not viable for a normal crew return, but is available for crew return in an emergency aboard the space station. The Soyuz MS-22 will be replaced by the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft that will launch to the space station without a crew on Monday, Feb. 20. NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin will return to Earth in the replacement Soyuz after spending several additional months on the station.

NASA has been working with Roscosmos throughout the investigation and will continue to work with its Commercial Crew Program and Canadian, Japanese, and European partners to refine upcoming flight dates over the next several weeks. NASA also continues its discussions with SpaceX regarding the possibility of using the Crew-5 spacecraft to return additional crew in the event of a station emergency prior to the arrival of Soyuz MS-23.

Meanwhile, NASA and SpaceX are prepared to launch the Crew-6 mission soon after Soyuz MS-23, incorporating the manifest changes previously mentioned. NASA still plans on having a direct handover between the Crew-5 and Crew-6 missions.

On Dec. 14, 2022, ground teams noticed significant leaking of external coolant from the aft portion of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked to the Rassvet module on the space station. The Soyuz spacecraft carried Prokopyev, Petelin, and Rubio into space after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 21.

Spacesuits, eye scans, and cargo transfers were the dominant activities aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday. The seven Expedition 68 crew members also had time for space gardening and scientific hardware maintenance.

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, Josh Cassada, and Frank Rubio joined each other cleaning cooling loops, checking water, and installing batteries inside a pair of Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), also known as spacesuits, throughout the day. Mann later joined Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) readying tools and hardware for an upcoming spacewalk to prepare the space station for its fourth roll-out solar array.

Cassada then spent the afternoon servicing research samples to support a study exploring how to treat bone wounds and conditions both on Earth and in space. Rubio deployed a pair of Human Research Facility laptop computers before watering tomato plants growing for the Veg-05 space botany study. Wakata replaced cables and light devices on the Confocal space microscope that provides fluorescence imagery of biological samples.

All four astronauts also gathered for a short session of eye scans just before lunchtime using the Ultrasound 2 device inside the Columbus laboratory module. The regularly scheduled exams collect images of an astronaut’s cornea, lens, optic nerve, and retina to help doctors understand how living long-term in weightlessness affects the human eye.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin worked inside two different Progress space freighters transferring cargo in and out of the vehicles, as well as updating the station’s inventory management system. Prokopyev also worked on life support gear while Petelin checked out optical hardware and interfaces. Flight Engineer Anna Kikina configured and photographed electronics components then deployed radiation detectors throughout the orbiting lab.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft completed its station resupply mission when it parachuted to a splashdown off the coast of Florida at 5:19 a.m. EST today. The uncrewed Dragon returned about 4,400 pounds of lab hardware and scientific cargo for retrieval and analysis by engineers and researchers on Earth.

Dragon Resupply Ship Splashes Down Returning Critical Science

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured departing the vicinity of the space station following its undocking from the Harmony module's space-facing port.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured departing the vicinity of the space station following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port.

SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down at 5:19 a.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 11, off the coast of Tampa, Florida, marking the return of the company’s 26th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The spacecraft carried approximately 4,400 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo back to Earth.

Some of the scientific investigations returned by Dragon include:

  • Deep space radiation protection: A vest designed to protect astronauts from high doses of radiation caused by unpredictable solar particle events is returning to Earth after months of testing. Crew members wore the Astrorad vest while performing daily tasks and provided feedback about how easy it is to put on, how it fits and feels, and the range of motion possible while wearing it. The vest’s developers plan to use that feedback to improve design of the garment, which could provide radiation protection for astronauts on Artemis missions to the Moon.
  • Air, water, plants: XROOTS used hydroponic (water-based) and aeroponic (air-based) techniques to grow plants without soil or other growth media. Researchers collected video and still images to evaluate growth chambers through the plant life cycle from seed germination through maturity. The plant chambers are returning to Earth for additional analysis. Similar techniques could be used to produce crops for future space missions and to enhance cultivation and food security for the benefit of people on Earth.
  • Bioprospecting in space: Bioprospecting is the process of identifying plants and animals that may contain substances with potential for use as drugs, biochemicals, and more. Previous studies found that space can cause genetic and physiological changes that could result in microbes yielding such materials. Rhodium Microgravity Bioprospecting-1 studied a way to search for these microbes. The science chambers and temperature logger from the investigation are returning to Earth for further examination.

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 Relax after Dragon Leaves, Cosmonauts Study Heart Activity in Space

The Full Moon is pictured behind the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship while the space station was orbiting above southern Brazil.
The Full Moon is pictured behind the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship while the space station was orbiting above southern Brazil.

Four Expedition 68 astronauts are enjoying Tuesday off after spending the weekend packing a U.S. cargo craft and readying it for departure on Monday. The International Space Station’s three cosmonauts spent their day concentrating on cardiac research while servicing a variety of orbital lab systems.

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship is orbiting Earth following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 5:05 p.m. EST on Monday. Dragon will return about 4,400 pounds of station hardware and scientific cargo when it splashes down off the coast of Florida on Wednesday.

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, Josh Cassada, and Frank Rubio along with Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) completed loading Dragon a couple of hours before it departed on Monday. The quartet worked over the weekend and into Monday carefully preserving and packing sensitive biological and physical research samples inside Dragon for retrieval and analysis in laboratories on Earth. All four flight engineers relaxed throughout Tuesday taking time off for quick medical checks, watering plants, and calling down to family members.

Meanwhile, the orbiting lab’s three Roscosmos cosmonauts stayed busy Tuesday with their standard research and maintenance schedule.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev partnered with Flight Engineers Dmitri Petelin and Anna Kikina taking turns attaching electrodes to themselves to measure their heart activity. Just one of numerous heart studies that have taken place on orbit, the investigation explores how living in space long-term affects the cardiovascular system.

Prokopyev also spent some time dismantling navigation components inside the ISS Progress 81 cargo ship. Petelin explored the physics of fluids exposed to vibrations, magnetic fields, and electric fields in microgravity. Kikina worked on orbital plumbing tasks then photographed crew activities on the station.


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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Science-Packed Dragon Cargo Craft Undocks from Station

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured departing the vicinity of the space station following its undocking from the Harmony module's space-facing port.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured departing the vicinity of the space station following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port.

After receiving commands from flight controllers on the ground, the uncrewed SpaceX Dragon spacecraft undocked from the zenith port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 5:05 p.m. At the time of undocking, the station was flying about 259 miles over the Pacific Ocean.

The Dragon spacecraft successfully departed the space station after arriving at the orbiting laboratory a little over one month ago to deliver about 4,400 pounds of scientific investigations and supplies.

After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida on Wednesday, Jan. 11. NASA will not broadcast the splashdown, but updates will be posted on the agency’s space station blog.

Dragon arrived at the space station Nov. 27, following a launch one day prior on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was the company’s 26th commercial resupply services mission to the space station for NASA.


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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