Approximately 3.5 hours into today’s spacewalk, astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly have completed the first of several steps to restore the port truss (P6) ammonia cooling system to its original configuration.
Kelly and Lindgren have returned ammonia to the desired levels in both the prime and back-up systems.
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren switched their spacesuits to battery power at 6:22 a.m. EST, signifying the start of today’s spacewalk, planned for 6 hours and 30 minutes.
Lindgren is wearing a spacesuit with red stripes and is designated EV1. His helmet camera displays the number 17. Kelly is wearing a spacesuit with no stripes and is designated EV2. His helmet camera displays the number 18.
The astronauts are embarking on the 190th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance to restore the port truss ammonia cooling system to its original configuration following a leak detection exercise three years ago that ultimately resulted in the replacement of an ammonia pump on the station’s truss.
NASA Television is providing live coverage of today’s U.S. spacewalk from the International Space Station. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at approximately 7:10 a.m. EST, or earlier, if the crew is ready to begin ahead of schedule, and will last about 6 hours and 30 minutes. NASA TV coverage begins at 5:30 a.m.
This is the second spacewalk for both Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren. They will venture out of the Quest airlock to configure the port truss (P6) ammonia cooling system to its original state. A spacewalk in November 2012 by astronauts Sunita Williams and Aki Hoshide tried to isolate a leak in the truss’ cooling supply by re-plumbing the system to a backup radiator, but the leak persisted and was subsequently traced to a different component that was replaced during a spacewalk in May 2013. Now leak-free, officials decided to restore the port truss cooling system to its primary method of dispelling heat.
The spacewalk is the 190th in support of space station assembly and maintenance and the second in nine days for Kelly and Lindgren.
Two astronauts are ready to finish a cooling system repair job that was started three years ago on the outside of the International Space Station. NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren will exit the U.S. Quest airlock Friday at 7:10 a.m. EST for about six hours and 30 minutes of spacewalking tasks.
Kelly and Lindgren are restoring the port truss cooling system back to its original configuration after leak repair work done in November 2012 by spacewalkers Suni Williams and Aki Hoshide. More leak repair work was done to the system during a May 2013 spacewalk by NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn.
Kelly and Lindgren will also top off the cooling system’s ammonia levels using storage tanks. The Photovoltaic Thermal Control System dissipates heat generated at the space station from radiators attached to the truss structure. This will be the second spacewalk for both astronauts whose first was on Oct. 28.
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and veteran cosmonaut Sergey Volkov will assist the spacewalkers into their spacesuits and the airlock before depressurization begins. Yui and Volkov will also welcome the spacewalkers back into the station at the end of their excursion.
Two NASA astronauts are getting ready for their second spacewalk Friday morning while also conducting science. The rest of the global crew worked on orbital lab maintenance and continued international space research.
Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren organized their spacewalk tools today and attached checklists to their spacesuit cuffs. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui, who will coordinate Friday’s spacewalk from inside the International Space Station, assisted Kelly and Lindgren with their tool checks.
The three astronauts also had time today for some science work to improve life on Earth and for future crews.
Lindgren downloaded data captured from tiny free-flying satellites known as SPHERES that test autonomous rendezvous and docking maneuvers and other flight techniques. Yui worked on the Capillary Flow Experiment with results potentially benefiting fluid systems on future spacecraft. Finally, Kelly took a test to measure his cognitive adaptation during his year-long spaceflight.
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren are looking ahead to Friday morning’s spacewalk to return the port truss cooling system back to its original configuration after repair work completed in 2012. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui will assist the spacewalkers before they get out the door and coordinate their activities from inside the International Space Station.
Today, the trio reviewed the cooling system servicing spacewalk procedures and organized their tools. Kelly and Lindgren will work with ammonia fluid cables and tanks during the spacewalk scheduled for Friday at 7:10 a.m. EST. Yui joined the duo and trained for the possibility their spacesuits may come in contact with ammonia coolant flakes.
Today marks 15 years of continuous habitation aboard the International Space Station. Expedition 1, the first station crew, docked Nov. 2, 2000 after launching two days earlier inside the Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft.
The young space station at the time consisted of just three modules including the Zarya module, the Zvezda service module and the Unity module. Commander William Shepherd and Flight Engineers Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko spent 141 days in space, saw two space shuttle missions and the addition of a solar array truss structure and the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.
The current six-member crew, Expedition 45, consists of NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren, Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and veteran cosmonauts Sergey Volkov, Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko. Kelly and Kornienko are spending nearly a year in space.
The crew worked a wide variety of lab maintenance and advanced science exploring how life adapts to long-term space missions with potential benefits to Earth-bound humans and future astronauts. Today they researched new exercise techniques and how living in space affects a crew member’s attitude.
The crew also explored how the station’s habitat affects the orbiting resident’s mental state and how lack of sleep and fatigue affects a crew member’s cognition. Another ongoing experiment that took place today researched the dynamic loads the space station experiences during spacecraft dockings, spacewalks and even crew exercise.
Kelly and Lindgren are inspecting their tethers today which keep spacewalkers attached to the International Space Station. They are also reviewing procedures for the upcoming spacewalk and organizing their tools.
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui, who is also the spacewalkers’ internal coordinator, worked in the Kibo lab module attaching science samples to an experiment platform. He then moved on to studying how plants grow in space without gravity to guide them.
On the Russian side of the orbital laboratory, the cosmonauts explored tools and acoustic methods to detect micrometeoroid impacts on the station. The veteran trio of Sergey Volkov, Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko, also researched the physics of plasma crystals and how a crew member adapts to piloting a spacecraft.
Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly has been in space longer than any other NASA astronaut. Today he exceeds Michael Lopez-Alegria’s record of 215 days on a single spaceflight. He passed Michael Fincke’s record of 382 cumulative days in space on Oct. 16.
Kelly also completed his first spacewalk along with Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren on Wednesday. The duo worked outside for seven hours and 16 minutes on a series of tasks to service and upgrade the International Space Station. They wrapped a dark matter detection experiment in a thermal blanket, lubricated the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm and then routed power and data cables for a future docking port.
Meanwhile, the crew is back at work today on advanced space science and routine laboratory maintenance. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui explored how plants grow without gravity to guide them. Kelly recorded his impressions of the space station’s living and working space for the Habitability study. Lindgren trained for the VIABLE experiment that researches microbe development on station surfaces.
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren ended their spacewalk at 3:19 p.m. EDT with the repressurization of the U.S. Quest airlock, having completed most of the major tasks planned for their excursion outside the International Space Station.
Kelly and Lindgren applied a thermal cover on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer; applied grease to a number of components in one of the latching ends of the Canadarm2 robotic arm; and began work to rig power and data system cables for the future installation of a docking port to the station that will be used for the arrival of the Boeing Starliner CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Greasing numerous parts of the robotic arm took somewhat longer than anticipated, and flight controllers chose to forego the lubrication of one component. However, engineers are satisfied the work that was completed sufficiently enhances the performance of the latching end effector. A lower priority task to reinstall a valve on the station will be assigned to crew members during a future spacewalk.
The 7-hour and 16-minute spacewalk was a first for both astronauts. Crew members have now spent a total of 1,184 hours and 16 minutes conducting space station assembly and maintenance during 189 spacewalks.
During the second spacewalk, the astronauts will restore a truss cooling system to its original configuration following a 2012 spacewalk in which another team of astronauts attempted to isolate a leak of ammonia coolant. They also will top off ammonia on the station’s truss reservoirs. NASA Television coverage will begin at 5:45 a.m. EST ahead of the spacewalk’s planned start time of 7:10 a.m.