Expedition 53 Embarks upon Third and Final Spacewalk in October Series

Two NASA astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 7:47 a.m. EDT aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about 6.5 hours. Live coverage is available on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA will replace a camera light assembly on the Canadarm2 latching end effectors (LEE) that spacewalkers installed on the Canadarm2 robotic Oct. 5. They will also install an HD camera outside the station among other tasks in the 205th spacewalk in support of assembly and maintenance in station history.

Bresnik is wearing the suit with red stripes, and helmet camera #18. Acaba is wearing the suit with no stripes, and helmet camera #17.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates on the station and crew activities. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

 

Final Spacewalk Preps Before November Cygnus Launch

Astronaut Joe Acaba and spacewalkers
Astronaut Joe Acaba (foreground) assisted crewmates Randy Bresnik (right) and Mark Vande Hei before they began a spacewalk on Oct. 10.

Four Expedition 53 crewmates huddled together and made final preparations the day before the third and final spacewalk planned for October. Meanwhile, NASA’s commercial partner Orbital ATK has announced Nov. 11 as the new launch date for its Cygnus cargo carrier to the International Space Station.

Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba are reviewing procedures and configuring tools before their spacewalk set for Friday at 8:05 a.m. EDT. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Paolo Nespoli from the European Space Agency will assist the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits and guide the duo as they work outside.

The spacewalk was originally set for Wednesday before mission managers replanned a new set of tasks due to a camera light failure. Bresnik and Acaba will now replace the camera light assembly on the Canadarm2’s newly installed Latching End Effector and install an HD camera on the starboard truss. The duo will also replace a fuse on Dextre’s payload platform and remove thermal insulation on two electrical spare parts housed on stowage platforms.

Orbital ATK is targeting the launch of its eighth Cygnus resupply mission to the station for Nov. 11. Cygnus will make a nine-minute ascent to space after launch, then begin a two-day trek to the station where it will be installed for a month-long stay after its capture by the Canadarm2.

Medical Training Ahead of Third Spacewalk

Astronaut Joe Acaba
Astronaut Joe Acaba poses in between two U.S. spacesuits inside the Quest airlock. He will wear one of those spacesuits on a spacewalk scheduled for Oct. 20, 2017.

The Expedition 53 crew trained for a medical emergency in space today after spending the morning on weekly housecleaning tasks. Afterward, two astronauts reviewed procedures and checked their tools ahead of Friday’s spacewalk.

Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin joined NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba for a routine training session to handle a medical emergency aboard the International Space Station. The trio reviewed medical hardware, chest compression techniques and individual roles and responsibilities.

Afterward, Acaba moved on to spacewalk preparations with Commander Randy Bresnik. The spacewalkers are due to begin a 6.5 hour spacewalk Friday at 8:05 a.m. EDT. NASA TV will cover the spacewalking activities live beginning at 6:30 a.m.

This will be the third spacewalk this month and consists of repackaged tasks that include the replacement of a camera assembly on the newly installed Latching End Effector, the installation of an HD camera on the starboard truss, the replacement of a fuse on Dextre’s payload platform and the removal of thermal insulation on two electrical spare parts housed on stowage platforms.

Station Cargo Mission and Spacewalk Rescheduled

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei
Astronaut Mark Vande Hei is pictured attached to the outside of the space station during a spacewalk on Oct. 10, 2017.

Roscosmos has rescheduled the launch of the Russian Progress 68 cargo spacecraft for Saturday, Oct. 14 at 4:46 am EDT (2:46 p.m. local time in Baikonur). The spacecraft is carrying almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 53 crew aboard the International Space Station.

Launch coverage on NASA TV will begin at 4:15 a.m. Following a 34-orbit, two-day trip, Progress will arrive at the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station for docking on Monday, Oct. 16, at 7:09 a.m., with NASA TV coverage beginning at 6:15 a.m.

In addition, NASA has rescheduled the Expedition 53 crew’s third and final spacewalk in the current series to next Friday, Oct. 20. Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba will begin the spacewalk at approximately 8:05 a.m., and NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m.

The tasks for the crew members to conduct have been adjusted. Bresnik and Acaba will replace a fuse on Dextre’s enhanced orbital replacement unit temporary platform; install an enhanced HD camera on the Starboard 1 lower outboard truss; remove thermal insulation on two spare units to prepare those components for future robotic replacement work, if required; and replace a light on the Canadarm2’s new latching end effector installed during the first spacewalk Oct. 5. The final lubrication of the new end effector and the replacement of a camera system on the Destiny Lab will be deferred for a future spacewalk.

To join the conversation about the space station activities online, follow @space_station on Twitter.

 

Spacewalk Review Ahead of Thursday’s Cargo Delivery

Progress 68 Rocket
The Russian Progress 68 resupply rocket stands at it launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos

Two astronauts checked in with ground engineers today after completing the second of three spacewalks yesterday that are planned for this month. Meanwhile, a Russian cargo ship stands at its launch pad ready to blast off Thursday morning on a short delivery trip to the International Space Station.

Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei called down to Mission Control today to discuss the elements of Tuesday’s successful spacewalk. During the excursion, they began the lubrication process on the Canadarm2’s newly-installed latching end effector and swapped out a degraded video camera. Today, the spacewalkers are servicing their spacesuits’ water system and recharging the batteries.

Bresnik will conduct another spacewalk Oct. 18 with NASA astronaut Joe Acaba to finalize the servicing on the Canadarm2 robotic arm. The duo will also perform some electrical maintenance work and replace another degraded video camera. NASA TV will broadcast the third and final spacewalk on Oct. 18 beginning at 6:30 a.m.

Three tons of food, fuel and supplies are loaded inside a Russian resupply ship (ISS Progress 68) ready to lift off to the orbital complex Thursday at 5:32 a.m. The 68P will take just two orbits around Earth and dock to the station less than three-and-a-half hours later. This will be the shortest delivery mission for a Progress mission which usually takes a near six-hour trip, and in the past has taken up to two days to assist in the resupply of the complex.

Astronauts Back Inside Station After Second Spacewalk

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei
Astronaut Mark Vande Hei wraps up lubrication work on the latching end effector of the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA completed a 6 hour, 26 minute spacewalk at 2:22 p.m. EDT. The two astronauts lubricated components of the new latching end effector they installed in the previous spacewalk on the Canadarm2 robotic arm and replaced a faulty camera system.

They also completed a variety of additional tasks, including replacing a smudged lens cover and removing two handrails from outside the tranquility module in preparation for a future wireless antenna installation.

This was the second of three spacewalks planned for October. Bresnik will also lead the next spacewalk Oct. 18 joined by Flight Engineer Joe Acaba to continue the lubrication of the new end effector and to replace another camera system on the Destiny Lab.

Today’s spacewalk was the fourth for Bresnik’s career and the second for Vande Hei. The Oct. 18 spacewalk will mark the third of Acaba’s career.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

Two Astronauts Begin Second Spacewalk of Mission

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik
NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik (bottom center) is dwarfed by a set of basketball court-sized solar arrays and the Earth in the background during a spacewalk on Oct. 5, 2017.

Two NASA astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 7:56 a.m., EDT aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about 6.5 hours. Live coverage is available on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA will lubricate components of the new latching end effector they installed on the Canadarm2 robotic arm in their first excursion Oct. 5. They will also replace a faulty camera system in the 204th spacewalk in support of assembly and maintenance in station history. This is the fourth spacewalk of Bresnik’s career and the second for Vande Hei.

A third spacewalk to continue the lubrication of the new end effector and to replace another camera system on the Destiny Lab is planned for Bresnik and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA Oct. 18.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates on the station and crew activities. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

Spacewalkers Going Outside Second Time in Less Than a Week

Spacewalkers Mark Vande Hei and Randy Bresnik
Spacewalkers Mark Vande Hei and Randy Bresnik are pictured Oct. 5, 2017, working outside the International Space Station.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA will head outside the International Space Station at approximately 8 a.m. EDT Tuesday to begin a 6.5-hour spacewalk. Live coverage will be available on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 6:30 a.m.

During Tuesday’s spacewalk, Bresnik and Vande Hei will lubricate the Canadarm2 Latching End Effectors (LEE) that the spacewalkers replaced Oct. 5. Canadarm2 has two identical Latching End Effectors used to grapple visiting cargo vehicles and payloads, provide data and telemetry to the rest of the Canadian-built Mobile Base System and the unique capability to “walk” from one location on the station’s truss to another. The Canadarm2 grappling mechanism that was replaced last week experienced a stall of its motorized latches last month.

This will be the 204th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance, and the second of three spacewalks planned for October.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates on the station and crew activities. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

Spacewalkers Wrap Up Robotic Arm Work

Spacewalkers Mark Vande Hei and Randy Bresnik
Spacewalkers Mark Vande Hei and Randy Bresnik work on installing a new latching end effector on the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA completed a 6 hour, 55 minute spacewalk at 3 p.m. EDT. The two astronauts replaced one of two Latching End Effectors (LEE) on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.

They also accomplished a couple of get-ahead tasks, including removal of the multi-layer insulation from a spare direct current switching unit. They also prepared a flex hose rotary coupler for future use.

This was the first of three spacewalks planned for October. Bresnik will lead the next two, as well. Vande Hei will join him again Oct. 10 with Flight Engineer Joe Acaba joining him Oct. 18.

The second and third spacewalks will be devoted to lubricating the newly installed end effector and replacing cameras on the left side of the station’s truss and the right side of the station’s U.S. Destiny laboratory.

Today’s spacewalk was the third for Bresnik’s career and the first for Vande Hei. The Oct. 18 spacewalk will mark the third of Acaba’s career.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

 

NASA TV Airs First of Three Spacewalks Today

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei
Astronaut Mark Vande Hei trains for a spacewalk at the Johnson Space Center in March of 2017.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA will head outside the International Space Station at approximately 8 a.m. EDT Thursday to begin a 6.5-hour spacewalk. Live coverage will be available on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 6:30 a.m.

This is the first of three spacewalks planned for October. Bresnik will lead all three, with Vande Hei joining him again Oct. 10 and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba joining him Oct. 18.

During Thursday’s spacewalk, Bresnik and Vande Hei will replace one of two Latching End Effectors (LEE) on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2. One of the Canadarm2 grappling mechanisms recently experienced a stall of its motorized latches, but the problem has had no effect on planned station operations. A spare LEE is stored outside on the station’s truss. Canadarm2 has two identical Latching End Effectors used to grapple visiting cargo vehicles and payloads, provide data and telemetry to the rest of the Canadian-built Mobile Base System and the unique capability to “walk” from one location on the station’s truss to another.

This will be the 203rd spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates on the station and crew activities. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.