Cassidy and Behnken Conclude Spacewalk to Replace Batteries

NASA Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken during spacewalk to replace batteries to upgrade the power supply capability
NASA Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken during spacewalk to replace batteries to upgrade the power supply capability

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken concluded their spacewalk at 1:39 p.m. EDT, after six hours and seven minutes. The two NASA astronauts completed all the work planned for this first of four spacewalks to replace batteries that provide power for the station’s solar arrays on the starboard truss of the complex as well as initial tasks originally planned for the second scheduled spacewalk next Wednesday. The new batteries provide an improved and more efficient power capacity for operations.

The spacewalkers removed five of six aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for one of two power channels for the starboard 6 (S6) truss, installed two of three new lithium-ion batteries, and installed two of three associated adapter plates that are used to complete the power circuit to the new batteries. Mission control reports that the two new batteries are working.

Cassidy and Behnken are scheduled to complete the upgrade to this initial power channel in a second spacewalk on July 1, during which they will install one more lithium-ion battery and one more adapter plate and remove the sixth nickel-hydrogen battery that will no longer be used.

This was the seventh spacewalk for both each astronaut. Cassidy now has spent a total of 37 hours and 21 minutes spacewalking, and Behnken has spent a total of 43 hours and 40 minutes spacewalking.

Space station crew members have conducted 228 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 59 days, 18 hours, and 33 minutes working outside 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.

 

Spacewalkers Begin Work to Replace Batteries

Spacewalkers Bob Behnken (left) and Chris Cassidy (right) in the Quest Airlock before beginning today’s spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV
Spacewalkers Bob Behnken (left) and Chris Cassidy (right) in the Quest Airlock before beginning today’s spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken have begun the first of two scheduled spacewalks to replace batteries on one of two power channels on the far starboard truss (S6 Truss) of the International Space Station.

The spacewalkers switched their spacesuits to battery power at 7:32 a.m. EDT to begin the spacewalk, which may last as long as seven hours.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

Cassidy and Behnken will be removing existing nickel-hydrogen batteries and replacing them with new lithium-ion batteries that arrived on a Japanese cargo ship last month. The batteries store electricity for one pair of the station’s solar arrays, and the swap will upgrade the station’s power supply capability. The batteries store power generated by the station’s solar arrays to provide power to the microgravity laboratory when the station is not in sunlight as it circles Earth during orbital night.

This is the 228th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Cassidy is extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the spacesuit with red stripes, and using helmet camera #18. Behnken is extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the spacesuit with no stripes and helmet camera #20. It is the seventh spacewalk for both astronauts.

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.

NASA TV Coverage of Spacewalk Underway

Astronauts (from left) Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken are pictured during previous spacewalks on earlier missions at the space station.
Astronauts (from left) Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken are pictured during previous spacewalks on earlier missions at the space station.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken is now underway and available on the agency’s website.

The crew members of Expedition 63 are preparing to venture outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk expected to begin at approximately 7:35 a.m. EDT and last as long as seven hours.

The crew is in the airlock and have donned their suits in preparation to exit the airlock and begin today’s activities working on one of two power channels on the far starboard truss (S6 Truss) of the station.

The primary tasks for today, as illustrated in a NASA animation, are to remove three existing nickel-hydrogen batteries and replace them with two new lithium-ion batteries. The batteries store electricity for one pair of the station’s solar arrays. Cassidy and Hurley also will be installing an adapter plate to complete the circuit to the new batteries and relocating the nickel-hydrogen batteries, two of which will be moved to an external platform for future disposal.

Leading the mission control team today is Flight Director Royce Renfrew with support from Jackie Kagey as the lead spacewalk officer.

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

Expedition 63 Crew Gets Ready for Friday’s Spacewalk

A U.S. spacesuit is pictured surrounded by a pair of plush-doll mascots
A U.S. spacesuit is pictured surrounded by a pair of plush-doll mascots, Tremor and Little Earth, delivered aboard the first two SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicles.

The Expedition 63 crew is in final preparations today ahead of Friday’s spacewalk to replace batteries on the outside of the International Space Station. Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken will exit the station Friday around 7:35 a.m. EDT for a planned seven-hour spacewalk.

They will disconnect aging nickel-hydrogen batteries from the Starboard-6 truss structure and stow them on an external pallet. The duo will then install new lithium-ion batteries in their place upgrading the orbital lab’s power systems. The batteries store power collected from the main solar arrays and for use throughout the station.

Cassidy and Behnken organized their spacewalk tools and readied their U.S. spacesuits inside the Quest airlock during the morning. They were joined in the afternoon by Flight Engineers Doug Hurley of NASA and Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos for a quick review of tomorrow’s spacewalk procedures.

Hurley and Vagner have been reviewing their roles all week to assist tomorrow’s spacewalk. The pair will help the spacewalkers in and out of the Quest airlock as well as their spacesuits. Both crewmembers will also monitor and help choreograph the spacewalk, in conjunction with specialists on the ground, from inside the station.

NASA TV begins its live coverage of the spacewalk activities at 6 a.m. This will be the seventh spacewalk for both Cassidy and Behnken who each have conducted six spacewalks on previous missions at the space station.

Veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin spent his morning on lab maintenance on the station’s Russian segment. Afterward, Ivanishin set up sensors to monitor the radiation environment in the orbital lab.

Crew Focusing on Science Today as Spacewalk Nears

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy is pictured during a spacewalk in July of 2013
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy is pictured during a spacewalk in July of 2013 when he was an Expedition 36 Flight Engineer.

The Expedition 63 crew lightened up on spacewalk preparations and focused its attention on a variety of research hardware today. The International Space Station residents also brushed up on their medical emergency skills while tending a pair of resupply ships.

Following a day of spacesuit fit checks, the three NASA astronauts aboard the orbiting lab split up on Wednesday to keep space science moving along. Commander Chris Cassidy started the day servicing a science freezer that stores biological samples for analysis. During the afternoon, Cassidy checked on samples for a physics study with commercial applications taking place in the Fluid Science Laboratory rack.

Flight Engineer Doug Hurley stowed hardware from a space bubbles study that was exploring new methods to deliver oxygen to spacecraft and medicine to humans. His fellow crewmate, Bob Behnken, was troubleshooting the TangoLab-2 science facility before packing gear inside Japan’s HTV-9 resupply ship.

The duo ended the day conducting a medical emergency drill in space. Hurley and Behnken practiced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques, located medical equipment and coordinated communications with mission controllers.

Hurley also joined cosmonaut Ivan Vagner in the morning and reviewed their responsibilities to assist Cassidy and Behnken during Friday’s spacewalk. Hurley and Vagner will help the astronauts in and out of their spacesuits and monitor the spacewalk scheduled to start about 7:35 a.m. EDT. NASA TV begins its live broadcast at 6 a.m.

Vagner then partnered up with veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin for cargo operations inside Russia’s Progress 74 cargo craft. Ivanishin spent the rest of the day working on Russian science experiments and life support maintenance.

Spacesuit Fit Checks and Microsatellite Deployment Today

Expedition 63 Flight Engineer Bob Behnken poses with a U.S. spacesuit
Expedition 63 Flight Engineer Bob Behnken poses with a U.S. spacesuit he is preparing for two spacewalks planned for June 26 and July 1 to upgrade power systems on the International Space Station.

The Expedition 63 crew is reviewing tasks and trying on spacesuits today ahead of two spacewalks set to begin Friday. Another microsatellite is set to be deployed from the International Space Station today.

Two NASA astronauts spent all day Tuesday preparing for the first of two spacewalks that will start on Friday at 7:35 a.m. EDT. Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken began the morning on a specialized computer going over the complex tasks they will use to upgrade station power systems. The second spacewalk is scheduled for July 1 at 7:20 a.m.

Space station managers will provide more details about the spacewalks during a live briefing on NASA TV starting Wednesday at 2 p.m. NASA TV will also begin its live coverage of Friday’s spacewalk at 6 a.m.

Flight Engineer Doug Hurley partnered with the spacewalkers in the morning and reviewed the Canadarm2 robotic arm procedures necessary to execute the maintenance spacewalks. Cosmonaut Ivan Vagner joined the trio in the afternoon helping Cassidy and Behnken in and out of their U.S. spacesuits to verify they fit.

The third Red-Eye microsatellite is staged outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module ready for deployment today at 5:10 p.m. The station’s fine-tuned Canadian robotic hand, known as Dextre, grappled Red-Eye installed inside the Kaber Microsat Deployer from which it will be ejected. It will test satellite communications, flight computers and thermal management technologies.

Dragon Work, Space Research and Spacewalk Preps Today

Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy prepares to stow biological samples for preservation inside a science freezer.
Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy prepares to stow biological samples for preservation inside a science freezer.

Two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station are getting ready for a pair of spacewalks set to begin at the end of June. Meanwhile, the Expedition 63 crew is still performing advanced space research to benefit Earth and space industries.

Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken are studying the tasks they will perform during two spacewalks to upgrade station power systems. NASA TV will broadcast both spacewalks live on June 26 and July 1 when the astronauts will swap old nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the Starboard-6 truss structure.

Flight Engineers Doug Hurley of NASA and Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos teamed up Wednesday morning readying the jetpacks the spacewalkers would use in the unlikely event they became detached from the station. They later joined Cassidy and Behnken during the afternoon for a spacewalk review with engineers on the ground.

Cassidy was back on biology work this morning collecting and stowing his blood and urine samples to learn how microgravity affects the human body. Behnken and Hurley checked their Dragon crew suits and charged their crew ship’s computer tablets.

Vagner also had time for a trio of Russian experiments as he photographed the Earth, researched future spacecraft piloting techniques and studied plasma crystals. Fellow cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin was also studying plasma crystals today while researching the dynamic forces the station experiences in orbit.

The Red-Eye microsatellite was deployed into Earth orbit this afternoon using the NanoRacks Kaber Microsat deployer outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. The 110-kilogram Red-Eye will test satellite communications, flight computers and thermal management technologies.

Biology and Physics as Crew Enters BEAM, Preps for Spacewalk

A waning gibbous Moon is pictured just above the Earth's horizon on June 7, 2020.
A waning gibbous Moon is pictured just above the Earth’s horizon on June 7, 2020.

Tuesday’s science aboard the International Space Station encompassed life science, fluids and flames to help humans on Earth and in space. The Expedition 63 crew also configured spacewalk tools and opened up an expandable module.

Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA collected and stowed his blood and urine samples today for later analysis. He also set up an experiment that observes how fluids flow in micrometer-sized tubes to improve medical diagnostic devices on Earth and in spaceships.

Cassidy also joined NASA Flight Engineer Bob Behnken organizing and inspecting a variety of gear ahead of two spacewalks planned for June 26 and July 1. The duo will be swapping old nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the Starboard-6 truss structure to upgrade the station’s power systems.

Behnken opened up and entered BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, to retrieve life support equipment during the afternoon. He also partnered up with fellow Flight Engineer Doug Hurley unpacking new science equipment from Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle-9 (HTV-9) resupply ship and installing it in Europe’s Columbus laboratory module.

Veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin continued to service the Combustion Integrated Rack replacing fuel bottles to maintain safe fuel and flame research in the device. Insights could improve fire safety as well as combustion processes for Earth and space industries. His Russian colleague Ivan Vagner worked on a pair of Earth observation studies monitoring the effects of catastrophes and the development of forests.

Expedition 63 Awaits SpaceX Crew, Unpacks Japanese Cargo

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen on the launch pad in Florida during a brief static fire test on Friday, May 22, 2020.

The Expedition 63 crew is getting ready for the launch and arrival this week of two NASA astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade. This follows Monday morning’s arrival of a Japanese cargo craft that delivered over four tons of food, supplies and experiments to the International Space Station.

NASA and SpaceX managers completed their readiness reviews and have given the “go” for the launch of Commercial Crew astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The duo will liftoff atop the Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday at 4:33 p.m. from Kennedy Space Center in Florida toward the station.

They will dock on Thursday at 11:39 a.m. to the Harmony module’s International Docking Adapter on the space station’s forward section. Two-and-a-half hours later the hatches will open, Behnken and Hurley will enter the station and the Expedition 63 crew will expand to five members to bring space research up to full speed aboard the orbiting lab.

The Crew Dragon will be docked adjacent to the newly-arrived H-II Transfer Vehicle-9 (HTV-9) from Japan. The HTV-9 was installed to the Harmony module’s Earth-facing port a couple of hours after it was captured Monday at 8:13 a.m. with the Canadarm2 robotic arm. NASA Commander Chris Cassidy began unloading the HTV-9 with help from Roscosmos Flight Engineer Ivan Vagner shortly after its arrival on Memorial Day.

The final mission of Japan’s expendable resupply ship will stay at the station until late July. Japan’s next version of resupply ships (HTV-X) will be returnable and reusable providing more cargo capabilities.

Veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin swapped out more fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack to maintain research operations inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. The refrigerator-sized research rack enables fuel, flame and soot research in microgravity.

Japan’s Resupply Ship Installed on Station’s Harmony Module

May 25, 2020: International Space Station Configuration
May 25, 2020: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are parked at the space station including the HTV-9 resupply ship from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Russia’s Progress 74 and 75 resupply ships and Soyuz MS-16 crew ship.

The unpiloted Japanese cargo spacecraft was installed this morning at 10:46 a.m. EDT to the Earth-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module, where it will remain for two months. Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA, with assistance from Russian Flight Engineer Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos, operated the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm from the station’s cupola and grappled the 12-ton spacecraft.

Among the four tons of cargo aboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) unpiloted H-II Transport Vehicle-9 (HTV-9) were investigations testing a new livestreaming educational tool, microscope and telescope. Learn more about the science experiments and technology heading to station here.

For almost 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. As a global endeavor, 239 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,800 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries.

For arrival coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get space station news, images and features via social media on Instagram at: @iss, ISS on Facebook, and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.