Astronauts Check Suits Following Spacewalk

Astronaut Bob Behnken works during a spacewalk to swap an aging nickel-hydrogen battery for a new lithium-ion battery.
Astronaut Bob Behnken works during a spacewalk to swap an aging nickel-hydrogen battery for a new lithium-ion battery.

Spacesuit checks were on the schedule today for the Expedition 63 crew following a spacewalk to replace aging batteries on the International Space Station. The orbital residents also juggled a variety of science activities.

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken are back to work today after Wednesday’s spacewalk to swap batteries and route cables on the station’s Starboard-6 truss structure. The duo recharged batteries and refilled water tanks inside their U.S. spacesuits. Flight Engineer Doug Hurley also joined the pair in the afternoon for eye scans with an ultrasound device.

All three astronauts called down to Mission Control today and briefed specialists with the results of the mission’s second spacewalk. Station managers will assess the orbital lab’s upgraded power status before scheduling more battery swap spacewalks later this month.

Cassidy also configured cables on a specialized furnace before uploading new software to the high-temperature research device. Hurley worked with experiment hardware that seeks to better control the separation of blood cells and plasma to improve medical diagnostic devices.

Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner partnered up Thursday morning for cardiac research. The duo is studying how the heart reacts to a unique suit that reverses the flow of blood towards the head caused by weightlessness. The pair then split up for life support maintenance and radiation checks.

Cassidy and Behnken Wrap Up Battery Spacewalk

NASA astronaut Bob Behnken is pictured tethered to the space station during a spacewalk to swap batteries on the orbiting lab's truss structure.
NASA astronaut Bob Behnken is pictured tethered to the space station’s truss structure during a spacewalk to swap batteries and route cables .

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken concluded their spacewalk at 12:14 p.m. EDT. During the six hour and one-minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts completed half the work to upgrade the batteries that provide power for one channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays. The new batteries provide an improved and more efficient power capacity for operations.

They successfully moved and connected one new, powerful lithium-ion battery and its adapter place to complete the circuit to the new battery and relocated one aging nickel-hydrogen battery to an external platform for future disposal.

They also loosened the bolts on nickel-hydrogen batteries that will be replaced to complete the power capability upgrade on the far starboard truss and complete the station’s battery replacement work that began in January 2017 with the first series of power upgrade spacewalks. Behnken and Cassidy will complete the work during the final two spacewalks later this month.

Cassidy and Behnken also will route power and ethernet cables in preparation for the installation of a new external wireless communications system with an enhanced HD camera and to increase helmet camera coverage for future spacewalks. To support future power system upgrades, they also will remove a device called an “H-Fixture” that was installed before the solar arrays were launched to the space station.

This was the eighth spacewalk for both each astronaut. Cassidy now has spent a total of 43 hours and 22 minutes spacewalking. Behnken has now spent a total of 49 hours and 41 minutes spacewalking.

Space station crew members have conducted 229 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 60 days and 34 minutes working outside the station.

At 4 p.m. today, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will discuss her upcoming second mission to the International Space Station, along with cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, during a news conference from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston that will be broadcast live on NASA Television and on the agency’s website.

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

Astronauts Spacewalking Live Now on NASA TV

NASA astronauts (from top) Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken work on U.S. spacesuits inside the International Space Station's Quest airlock.
NASA astronauts (from top) Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken work on U.S. spacesuits inside the International Space Station’s Quest airlock.

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken have begun the second 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 7:13 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 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 eighth spacewalk for both astronauts and the 229th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

The spacewalkers will be removing the sixth nickel-hydrogen battery for this channel and replace it with a new lithium-ion battery and an adapter plate that arrived on a Japanese cargo ship last month. The swap will upgrade the station’s power supply by replacing the batteries that store power generated by the station’s solar arrays and provide it to the microgravity laboratory when the station is not in sunlight as it circles Earth during orbital night.

Cassidy and Behnken also will route power and ethernet cables and do work to prepare for future power system upgrades.

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

NASA TV is Live Now as Astronauts Get Ready for Spacewalk

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.

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 put on their spacesuits 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 are to install one more lithium-ion battery and one more adapter plate and remove the sixth nickel-hydrogen battery that will no longer be used. The batteries store electricity for one pair of the station’s solar arrays. They also will do some advance work for the final two spacewalks for the battery upgrades, route power and ethernet cables to provide better views on future spacewalks, and release a device in support of future power system upgrades.

Leading the mission control team today is Flight Director Royce Renfrew with support from Jaclyn 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.

NASA TV Goes Live Wednesday to Broadcast Spacewalk

NASA astronaut Bob Behnken (at left) is pictured during a spacewalk to swap batteries on June 26.
NASA astronaut Bob Behnken is pictured during a spacewalk to swap station batteries on June 26.

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken are scheduled to depart the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Wednesday for a spacewalk to complete battery replacement activities to upgrade one of two power channels on the station’s far starboard truss (S6 Truss). The upgrade includes removing six aging nickel-hydrogen batteries and replacing them with three new lithium-ion batteries and the adapter plates that complete the power circuit to the new batteries.

The duo will set their spacesuits to battery power about 7:35 a.m. EDT Wednesday, signifying the start of their spacewalk, which will last between six and seven hours. NASA will begin its live coverage on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 6 a.m.

In a prior spacewalk June 26, Cassidy and Behnken began the work to complete the upgrade to this initial power channel, additionally completing some of the tasks originally scheduled for today. The remaining tasks for today are to install one more lithium-ion battery and one more adapter plate and remove the sixth nickel-hydrogen battery that will no longer be used. NASA animation depicts the originally scheduled spacewalk activities. The new lithium-ion batteries  arrived on a Japanese cargo ship last month.

New tasks added for tomorrow’s spacewalk include loosening the bolts on the nickel-hydrogen batteries that will be replaced during two future spacewalks to complete the power capability upgrade on the far starboard truss and complete the station’s battery replacement work that began in January 2017 with the first series of power upgrade spacewalks.

Cassidy and Behnken also will route power and ethernet cables in preparation for the installation of a new external wireless communications system with an enhanced HD camera and to increase helmet camera coverage for future spacewalks. To support future power system upgrades, they also will remove a device called an “H-Fixture” that was installed before the solar arrays were launched to the space station.

This will be the 229th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Cassidy again will be extravehicular crew member 1, wearing the spacesuit with red stripes, while Behnken will be extravehicular crew member 2, wearing the spacesuit with no stripes. It will be the eighth spacewalk for each astronaut.

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

 

Astronauts Finalize Preps Before Wednesday’s Battery Spacewalk

Expedition 63 crewmates assists spacewalkers
Spacewalkers Bob Behnken (far left) and Chris Cassidy (far right) are suited up with assistance from Expedition 63 Flight Engineers (middle left) Doug Hurley and Ivan Vagner (middle right) ahead of their June 26 spacewalk.

The Expedition 63 crew is set for its second spacewalk on Wednesday at 7:35 a.m. EDT to continue upgrading International Space Station power systems.

Commander Chris Cassidy will lead the spacewalk and exit the Quest airlock in the U.S. spacesuit with the red stripes. He’ll be followed by Flight Engineer Bob Behnken in his spacesuit with no stripes.

Both astronauts are being joined today by Flight Engineer Doug Hurley as they finalize procedure reviews, organize tools and perform suit leak checks before tomorrow’s spacewalk. Hurley will be on duty helping the spacewalkers in and out their spacesuits and monitoring the excursion. Roscosmos cosmonaut Ivan Vagner will assist the NASA trio on Wednesday.

Cassidy and Behnken have one more aging nickel-hydrogen battery to remove from the Starboard-6 truss structure and place into an external pallet. They will replace it with a new lithium-ion battery that will channel power collected from the station’s main solar arrays. After that work, the duo will move on and route power and ethernet cables before going back inside the orbiting lab to wrap up their spacewalk.

NASA TV starts its live coverage of Wednesday’s spacewalk, planned to last about six-and-a-half hours, at 6 a.m. Station managers will assess the results of the battery swaps before scheduling more power upgrade spacewalks planned for later this month.

Astronauts Look to Wednesday’s Spacewalk

A NASA astronaut Bob Behnken's"space-selfie"
A spacewalker’s spacesuit gloves and camera are reflected in the helmet visor in this “space-selfie” taken during a six-hour and seven-minute spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken will start their second spacewalk together on July 1. The duo will continue upgrading power systems on the International Space Station.

The veteran spacewalkers wrapped up a spacewalk on Friday after six hours and 7 minutes swapping five aging nickel-hydrogen (NiH2) batteries with two new lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries. They will go out again on Wednesday starting at 7:20 a.m. EDT to swap one more NiH2 battery for a Li-Ion battery on the Starboard-6 truss structure worksite. NASA TV will begin its live coverage at 6 a.m.

Flight Engineer Doug Hurley joined his Expedition 63 crewmates today in a review of Wednesday’s spacewalk procedures with ground specialists. Hurley once again will assist Cassidy and Behnken in and out of their spacesuits and monitor the pair during the excursion.

Space station managers also are planning two more spacewalks in July to keep up the battery upgrades. After Cassidy and Behnken complete Wednesday’s spacewalk, mission planners will finalize the future spacewalk tasks along with target dates and times.

Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner spent Monday working on a variety of Russian communications gear and life support hardware. The duo also worked on a pair of Earth science studies exploring how natural and man-made activities on the surface affect the upper and lower atmosphere.

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.