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.

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 Broadcasts Battery Swap Spacewalk Friday

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 astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken are scheduled to depart the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Friday for a spacewalk to replace batteries to upgrade the power supply capability.

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

NASA posted a video providing an animation of the spacewalk activities to depict how they will be replacing existing nickel-hydrogen batteries on one of two power channels on the far starboard truss (S6 Truss) of the station with new lithium-ion batteries that arrived on a Japanese cargo ship last month.

They are scheduled for a second spacewalk to continue the work on Wednesday, July 1. The battery replacement work is the final series of power upgrade spacewalks that began in January 2017.

This will be the 228th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Cassidy 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 seventh 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.

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.

Astronauts Check Spacewalk Tools and Suits, Study Space Physics

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.

Two NASA astronauts are getting ready for Friday’s spacewalk to continue upgrading power systems on the International Space Station. The other three Expedition 63 crewmembers today explored a variety of microgravity phenomena to improve health and industry on Earth and in space.

Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken spent Monday afternoon reviewing the tools and procedures they will use during Friday’s spacewalk. They were joined by fellow NASA astronaut Doug Hurley who will assist the duo in and out of their spacesuits and monitor their spacewalk activities. The two spacewalkers then checked their U.S. spacesuits and organized the Quest airlock where they will stage Friday’s excursion.

Cassidy and Behnken will set their spacesuits to internal power on Friday around 7:35 a.m. EDT officially beginning their spacewalk. The duo will swap old nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the Starboard-6 truss structure. The batteries store power collected from the station’s main solar arrays and distribute it throughout the orbiting lab.

Hurley spent the first half of his Monday working on fluid and combustion physics. He first explored how microfluidics can cause biochemical reactions in blood revealing mechanisms hidden on Earth. Next, he researched fabricating composite materials to learn how to repair and build structures on future space missions.

Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin serviced laptop computers and stowed hardware used during a plasma crystal study in the station’s Russian segment. Fellow cosmonaut Ivan Vagner configured cameras then worked on a study that provides high precision predictions of the station’s motion and orbit.

Crew Readies Satellite and Organizes Station

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken talk to mission controllers on the ground.
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken talk to mission controllers on the ground.

The International Space Station is getting ready to deploy another satellite while the Expedition 63 crew winds down the work week on logistics and space science.

Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken set up hardware today in Japan’s Kibo laboratory module that will deploy another Red-Eye satellite. The third and final Red-Eye microsatellite will be deployed outside Kibo to test satellite communications, flight computers and thermal management technologies.

Cassidy then joined fellow NASA astronaut Doug Hurley transferring resupply racks from the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) into Japan’s HTV-9 space freighter. Behnken helped out as he moved gear from the PMM into the Unity module to make space for the rack swap work during the afternoon.

Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin changed out fuel bottles in the Combustion Integrated Rack this morning to continue the safe research of flames in microgravity. Then he moved on observing particle clouds for a plasma crystal study that seeks to increase fundamental knowledge and improve spacecraft designs.

First-time Flight Engineer Ivan Vagner was photographing the Earth today documenting natural and man-made catastrophes. He also sampled the atmosphere in the Russian segment of the station before working on the Zvezda service module’s ventilation system.

Spacesuit Work, Earth and Physics Studies Today

The sun's glint on the Timor Sea
The sun’s glint on the Timor Sea between Indonesia and Australia is mellowed by cloud cover in this photograph from the station.

Two NASA astronauts are getting their spacesuits ready for a pair of spacewalks set to begin next week. The rest of the Expedition 63 crew juggled a variety of space science and life support work aboard the International Space Station today.

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken spent Thursday filtering cooling loops and refilling water tanks inside the U.S. spacesuits they will wear during two maintenance spacewalks. The duo will exit the station’s U.S. Quest airlock on June 26 and July 1 starting at 7:35 a.m. EDT to finalize the long-running power upgrade work.

The experienced spacewalkers, who each have six spacewalks from previous missions, reviewed their complex tasks step-by-step on a computer during the afternoon. Cassidy and Behnken will swap old nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the Starboard-6 truss structure. NASA TV will begin its live coverage of both spacewalks, planned for about seven hours each, starting at 6 a.m.

Flight Engineers Doug Hurley of NASA and Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos reviewed their support roles for the upcoming spacewalks. They will help the astronauts in and out of their spacesuits and monitor the spacewalks from inside the orbiting lab.

Hurley later serviced samples for a space bubbles study, possibly improving oxygen and medicine delivery systems, while also working on light plumbing tasks after lunchtime. Vagner checked out communications gear, had an Earth photography session and worked on a Russian oxygen generator.

Veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin also spent some time photographing the Earth to help scientists forecast natural and man-made catastrophes. He then continued more plasma crystal research to gain fundamental knowledge and improve spacecraft designs.

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.