Station Busy with Sunday Spacewalk Preps and Biology, Botany Research

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet is pictured during a spacewalk in January 2017 when he was an Expedition 50 flight engineer.
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet is pictured during a spacewalk in January 2017 when he was an Expedition 50 flight engineer.

Two Expedition 65 astronauts are getting ready for a Sunday spacewalk to modify the International Space Station’s power system. Meanwhile, the orbiting lab is hosting a variety of biology and botany research today as two cosmonauts clean up following Thursday’s spacewalk.

International astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) are preparing for a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk on Sunday. They will set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power at 8:30 a.m. EDT, exit the station’s U.S. Quest airlock, then translate to the Port-4 (P4) truss structure to install a modification kit. This will ready the P4 for a new Roll-Out Solar Array set to be delivered on a SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission next year. NASA TV will begin its live spacewalk coverage at 7 a.m. on the NASA app and the agency’s website.

Hoshide and Pesquet still had plenty of time for microgravity research today as they gear up for Sunday’s excursion. The JAXA astronaut, who is on his third space mission, serviced mouse embryo samples in the Kibo laboratory module to learn how the space environment affects key phases of reproduction. ESA Flight Engineer Pesquet set up the Columbus laboratory module and explored how the human central nervous system adapts to weightlessness.

NASA Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur worked on two different space botany experiments today helping mission planners and doctors learn to sustain crews on longer space missions farther away from Earth. Kimbrough harvested plants growing on petri plates for the APEX-08 genetic expression study. McArthur cleaned up debris in the Kibo lab’s Plant Habitat that is growing Hatch Green chiles for the Plant Habitat-04 space crop experiment.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei replaced components inside the Combustion Integrated Rack then relocated a detection device that studies the radiation spectrum onboard the station. Vande Hei also partnered with Hoshide and Pesquet assisting the duo with their spacewalk preparations.

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov slept in Friday morning following their seven-hour and 25-minute spacewalk on Thursday to connect data and communication cables to Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. The duo from Roscosmos then began disconnecting components on their Orlan spacesuits and stowing spacewalk gear in the orbiting lab’s Russian segment.

Cosmonauts Wrap Up Second Spacewalk to Set Up Science Module

Russian spacewalkers (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov work over 250 miles above the Earth to configure the Nauka multipurpose laboratory for science operations. Credit: NASA TV
Russian spacewalkers (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov work over 250 miles above the Earth to configure the Nauka multipurpose laboratory for science operations. Credit: NASA TV

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos concluded their spacewalk at 6:16 p.m. EDT after 7 hours and 25 minutes. It was the second of up to 11 spacewalks to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space.

Novitskiy and Dubrov finished connecting television, rendezvous system and ethernet cables to the recently arrived Nauka module. They also installed handrails, jettisoned a cable reel, and installed a biology experiment on the Poisk module.

This was the 11th spacewalk this year and the 243rd overall in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 63 days and 23 hours working outside the station.

It is the third spacewalk for both cosmonauts, both of whom have now spent a total of 22 hours and 38 minutes spacewalking.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. In that time, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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

Cosmonauts Start Spacewalk to Work on Science Module

Russian spacewalker Pyotr Dubrov is pictured on Sept. 3 outfitting the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module with ethernet cables, power cables and handrails.
Russian spacewalker Pyotr Dubrov is pictured on Sept. 3 outfitting the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module with ethernet cables, power cables and handrails.

Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos began a spacewalk to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space when they opened the hatch of the Poisk docking compartment airlock of the International Space Station at 10:51 a.m. EDT.

Novitskiy, designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), is wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes, and Dubrov is wearing a spacesuit with blue stripes as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2).

Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. Views from a camera on Novitskiy’s helmet are designated with the number 22, and Dubrov’s is labeled with the number 20.

The duo’s primary tasks for today’s spacewalk are to continue connecting an ethernet cable and television and rendezvous system cables to the new module, install handrails to enable spacewalkers to maneuver more easily, and to install a biology experiment on the Poisk module.

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 Begins Coverage of Russian Spacewalk to Outfit Science Module

Russia's Nauka multipurpose laboratory module is pictured as the station orbited into a sunset above the southern Indian Ocean.
Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module is pictured as the station orbited into a sunset above the southern Indian Ocean.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos is now underway and is also available on the NASA app and the agency’s website.

The crew members of Expedition 65 are preparing to exit the International Space Station‘s Poisk module on the space-facing side of the station’s Russian segment for a spacewalk expected to begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. EDT that will last about six and a half hours.

It will be the second of up to 11 spacewalks to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space. Watch a video animation preview of today’s spacewalk and planned activities at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfacX6864b4

During the spacewalk, the cosmonauts will perform tasks including installing handrails on Nauka and connecting power, ethernet, and data cables between the recently arrived module and the Zvezda service module. The pair is also scheduled to complete several tasks deferred from their Sept. 3 spacewalk.

Nauka launched on a Russian Proton-M rocket July 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked autonomously to the Earth-facing Zvezda port July 29.

This will be the third spacewalk for both Novitskiy and Dubrov; the 243rd spacewalk in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades; and the 11th and spacewalk at the station in 2021.

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

Crew Readies for Thursday, Sunday Spacewalks as Science Rolls On

Russian spacewalkers (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are pictured on Sept. 3 outfitting the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module with cables and handrails.
Russian spacewalkers (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are pictured on Sept. 3 outfitting the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module with cables and handrails.

Two Expedition 65 cosmonauts are ready for their second spacewalk to continue outfitting Russia’s new science module on Thursday. Meanwhile, another spacewalk is due to take place on Sunday to modify the International Space Station’s power system.

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov wrapped up their spacewalk reviews and Orlan spacesuit checks just before lunchtime on Wednesday. The Russian duo is ready to begin Thursday’s spacewalk set to begin at 11 a.m. EDT when they open the hatch on the Poisk airlock to the vacuum of space. NASA TV will begin its live spacewalk coverage at 10:30 a.m. on the NASA app and the agency’s website.

They will spend about six-and-a-half hours continuing power and ethernet cable connections and installing handrails on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. The three-time spacewalkers will also complete tasks deferred from the Sept. 3 spacewalk including more ethernet cable connections, cable jettisoning and biology experiment installations.

Another spacewalk is scheduled to start Sunday at 8:30 a.m. to install a modification kit on the station’s Port-4 (P4) truss structure. Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet are preparing for that spacewalk to ready the P4 for the orbiting lab’s third Roll-Out Solar Array due to arrive on a SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission early next year. NASA TV will begin its live coverage at 7 a.m. as the experienced astronauts prepare to exit the U.S. Quest airlock in their U.S. spacesuits for a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk.

Meanwhile, science and maintenance continued on the orbiting lab with the crew finding time to work on human research, biology, and combustion. Pesquet from ESA (European Space Agency) studied how astronauts grip objects and move their limbs in microgravity while NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough fed rodents and cleaned their habitats during the morning.

Hoshide and NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked on a pair of different combustion studies today. Hoshide, the commander from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), removed combustion research hardware from the Kibo laboratory module‘s multipurpose small payload rack. Vande Hei replaced an igniter inside the Combustion Integrated Rack for the ACME series of space combustion studies.

NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur focused on orbital plumbing tasks and dismantling air resupply tanks during the morning. After lunch, she turned her attention to unpacking the Cargo Dragon vehicle then joining Vande Hei for a procedures review conference with Sunday’s spacewalkers Hoshide and Pesquet.

Cosmonauts, Astronauts Gearing Up for Two Spacewalks

Russia's Soyuz MS-18 crew ship (foreground) and Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module are pictured docked to the station as it orbited above Africa's Indian Ocean coast.
Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 crew ship (foreground) and Nauka multipurpose laboratory module are pictured docked to the station as it orbited above Africa’s Indian Ocean coast.

Two Expedition 65 cosmonauts will soon exit the International Space Station for the second spacewalk in less than week to continue configuring a Russian science module. Meanwhile, two astronauts are gearing up for another spacewalk, while the rest of the crew conducts space research and lab maintenance.

Russia’s new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) saw its first power and ethernet cable connections last Friday during a seven-hour and 54-minute spacewalk with Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. The duo from Roscosmos will perform another spacewalk on Thursday at 11 a.m. EDT to continue more Nauka cable connections and install new handrails on the MLM.

The two cosmonauts spent Tuesday getting their Orlan spacesuits ready, organizing spacewalk tools and preparing the Poisk airlock for Thursday’s excursion. NASA TV will begin its live spacewalk coverage at 10:30 a.m. on the NASA app and the agency’s website.

Just three days after that two astronauts will exit the U.S. Quest airlock to modify the Port-4 (P4) truss structure and ready the orbital lab for its third set of Roll-Out Solar Arrays. Commander Akihiko Hoshide from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet from ESA (European Space Agency) will don their U.S. spacesuits on Sunday and begin their spacewalk at 8:30 a.m.

The spacewalking pair today reviewed their tools and the modification kit they will install on P4 then studied the upcoming robotics maneuvers planned for the excursion on a computer. NASA TV will broadcast Sunday’s spacewalk starting at 7 a.m.

The station’s three NASA astronauts focused mainly on a variety of research work as well as the upkeep of the orbital lab.

Flight Engineer Megan McArthur started Tuesday exploring how microgravity affects drug metabolism. She first retrieved genetic samples from a science freezer then analyzed them to help scientists understand biological changes in space and monitor astronaut health.

McArthur then partnered with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei in the afternoon reviewing their support roles for Sunday’s spacewalk with Hoshide and Pesquet. Vane Hei then joined Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough and serviced life support components that remove carbon dioxide from the station’s cabin.

Cosmonauts Conclude First Spacewalk To Ready New Module

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov during a spacewalk to connect power and ethernet cables to the Nauka laboratory module.
Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov during a spacewalk to connect power and ethernet cables to the Nauka laboratory module.

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos concluded their spacewalk at 6:35 p.m. EDT after 7 hours and 54 minutes. It is the first of up to 11 spacewalks to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space.

Novitskiy and Dubrov completed the major objective for today to connect power cables between the recently arrived Nauka module and the Zarya module to enable the routing of electricity from the U.S. segment of the station to Nauka. Checkouts of the two electrical power cable systems from Zarya to Nauka were successful. They also partially installed one new handrail.

Tasks deferred to a future spacewalk are to install two additional handrails to enable spacewalkers to maneuver to and about Nauka more easily, make the final connection for the ethernet cable the duo partially routed today, deploy a science investigation, jettison the ethernet cable reel following the completion of the connection, and take imagery of the Russian segment of the station.

The duo will continue work during a second spacewalk on Thursday, Sept. 9; coverage on NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s website will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the spacewalk expected to begin about 11 a.m. and last about five hours.

This was the 10th spacewalk this year and the 242nd overall in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 63 days, 15 hours, and 35 minutes working outside the station.

It is the second spacewalk for both cosmonauts, both of whom have now spent a total of 15 hours and 13 minutes spacewalking.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. In that time, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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.

Two Cosmonauts Exit Station for Spacewalk

Cosmonauts (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting their second spacewalk together.
Cosmonauts (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting their second spacewalk together.

Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos began a spacewalk to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space when they opened the hatch of the Poisk docking compartment airlock of the International Space Station at 10:41 a.m. EDT.

Novitskiy, designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), is wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes, and Dubrov is wearing a spacesuit with blue stripes as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2).

Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. Views from a camera on Novitskiy’s helmet are designated with the number 22, and Dubrov’s is labeled with the number 20.

The duo’s primary tasks for today’s spacewalk are to connect power and ethernet cables to the new module and install handrails to enable spacewalkers to maneuver to and about its exterior more easily.

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 Coverage of Spacewalk is Underway

Cosmonauts (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting their second spacewalk together.
Cosmonauts (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting their second spacewalk together.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos is now underway and is also available on the NASA app and the agency’s website.

The crew members of Expedition 65 are preparing to exit the International Space Station‘s Poisk module on the space-facing side of the station’s Russian segment for a spacewalk expected to begin at approximately 10:35 a.m. EDT and last as long as seven hours.

It will be the first of up to 11 spacewalks to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space. Watch a video animation preview of today’s spacewalk and planned activities at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfacX6864b4

During the spacewalk today and subsequent spacewalk planned for Sept. 9, the cosmonauts will install handrails on Nauka and connect power, ethernet, and data cables between the recently arrived module and the Zvezda service module. Nauka launched on a Russian Proton-M rocket July 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked autonomously to the Earth-facing Zvezda port July 29.

This will be the second spacewalk for both Novitskiy and Dubrov; the 242nd spacewalk in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades; and the 10th and spacewalk at the station in 2021.

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

Cosmonauts Get Ready for Friday Spacewalk, New Science Kicks Off

Cosmonauts (from left) Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy prepare Russian Orlan spacesuits.
Cosmonauts (from left) Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy prepare Russian Orlan spacesuits.

Two cosmonauts will exit the International Space Station on Friday to begin powering up the new Russian science module. While they prepare today for the excursion, the rest of the Expedition 65 crew focused on new science experiments and reviewed an upcoming U.S. spacewalk.

Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module, attached to the station since July 29, will be connected to the station’s ethernet and power systems during a spacewalk set to start Friday at 10:35 a.m. EDT. Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov will exit the Poisk airlock to begin about seven hours of routing and mating cables on the outside of Nauka.

The spacewalking cosmonauts were joined on Thursday by NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei and Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for a review of Friday’s spacewalk procedures. Vande Hei will also assist the spacewalkers in and out of their Russian Orlan spacesuits inside the Poisk module.

Novitskiy and Dubrov have another spacewalk scheduled on Sept. 9 to continue outfitting Nauka with handrails and cables. Both spacewalks will be broadcast live on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

New space investigations recently delivered aboard the SpaceX Cargo Dragon are just getting under way aboard the orbiting lab. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur kicked off the Genes In Space-8 study today to explore how medicines may act differently in microgravity. A student-designed experiment, started today by NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough, looks at the mating habits of tardigrades living inside mixture tubes and stowed in a NanoRacks research device.

Kimbrough also swapped out science components inside the Fluids Integrated Rack. Hoshide worked in the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace cleaning and removing sample cartridges. Vande Hei installed a new incubator, a temperature controlled device that supports a variety of biology and physics research, in JAXA’s Kibo laboratory module.

The next spacewalk following the Russian excursions is planned for Sept. 12 with Hoshide and Pesquet. The duo reviewed procedures today tasked for the scheduled six-and-a-half hour excursion. They will exit the U.S. Quest airlock to modify the Port-4 (P4) truss structure preparing it for a new Roll-Out Solar Array due to arrive next year aboard the Space Cargo Dragon space freighter.