Astronauts Wind Down After Spacewalk, Reap Space Harvest

NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins takes an out-of-this-world "space-selfie" during Monday's spacewalk.
NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins takes an out-of-this-world “space-selfie” during Monday’s spacewalk.

Two spacewalkers and their assistants are winding down today following two spacewalks in less than a week. There was also a harvest today aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 64 crew learns about space agriculture.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover completed their second spacewalk together on Monday wrapping up a years-long effort to upgrade the station’s power system. They relaxed Tuesday morning before spending the afternoon on a spacewalk conference and space botany.

The duo joined astronauts Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA and called down to spacewalk engineers after lunchtime today. The quartet briefed the specialists on any concerns or issues they had during the Jan. 27 and Feb. 1 spacewalks.

Hopkins spent the rest of the afternoon harvesting plants growing inside the Columbus laboratory module’s Veggie facility. Afterward, he joined his astronaut crewmates including Flight Engineer Shannon Walker and snacked on the freshly picked pak choi, wasabi mustard, kale, and red romaine for a taste test.

In the station’s Russian segment, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov worked on computers, life science hardware and Zarya module maintenance. Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov worked on orbital plumbing tasks and radiation checks then work on a pair of Earth observation experiments.

Spacewalkers Wrap Up Battery Work and Camera Installations

The seven-member Expedition 64 crew poses for a portrait inside the space station's Kibo laboratory module.
The seven-member Expedition 64 crew poses for a portrait inside the space station’s Kibo laboratory module.

NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover concluded their spacewalk at 1:16 p.m. EST, after 5 hours and 20 minutes. In the second spacewalk of the year, the two NASA astronauts completed work to replace batteries that store power from the station’s solar arrays and upgrade several of the station’s external cameras. The duo finished their planned tasks ahead of schedule and also complete several get-ahead tasks in preparation for future spacewalks.

This spacewalk completes a four-year effort to upgrade the batteries of the International Space Station’s power system, replacing 48 aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with 24 new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates. With the battery work complete, the focus turns to solar array augmentation.

Two additional spacewalks are planned for the near future. During the next spacewalk, Glover and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will work outside the station to prepare its power system for the installation of new solar arrays to increase the station’s existing power supply. For a following spacewalk, Rubins and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi will continue upgrading station components. NASA will air a briefing and preview of the next two spacewalks after the dates are set.

This was the fourth spacewalk in Hopkins’ career, and the second for Glover.

Hopkins has now spent a total of 25 hours and 14 minutes spacewalking. Glover now has spent a total of 12 hours and 16 minutes spacewalking.

Space station crew members have conducted 234 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 61 days, 7 hours, and 7 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.

Two Astronauts Begin Spacewalk for Battery and Camera Upgrades

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover are pictured during a spacewalk on Jan. 27, 2021, for antenna work and future solar array upgrades.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover are pictured during a spacewalk on Jan. 27, 2021, for antenna work and future solar array upgrades.

NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover have begun their spacewalk to finish a four-year effort to upgrade the International Space Station’s power system. They will install a final lithium-ion battery adapter plate on the port 4 (P4) truss and upgrade several external cameras.

The spacewalkers switched their spacesuits to battery power at 7:56 a.m. EST to begin the spacewalk, which is expected to last about six and a half hours.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

Eight years of research and development and 14 spacewalks to replace aging batteries are part of an overall electrical system upgrade to continue research after 20 years of continuous human presence aboard the International Space Station. 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.

Hopkins is extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the spacesuit with red stripes, and using helmet camera #18. Glover is extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the spacesuit with no stripes and helmet camera #20.

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.

Spacewalk Coverage Live on NASA TV

NASA spacewalker Victor Glover works on Jan. 27, 2021, to ready the International Space for future solar array upgrades.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover is now underway and available on the agency’s website.

The crew members of Expedition 64 are preparing to venture outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk expected to last about six and a half hours.

The crew is in the airlock and have donned their suits in preparation to exit the airlock and begin today’s activities working to upgrade a battery on the port 4 (P4) truss of the station.

The first task for today, as illustrated in a NASA animation, will be to install a final lithium-ion battery adapter plate on the port 4 (P4) truss. Hopkins and Glover also will replace an external camera on the starboard truss, install a new high-definition camera on the Destiny laboratory, and replace components for the Japanese robotic arm’s camera system outside the Kibo module.

Leading the mission control team today is Flight Director Vincent Lacourt with support from Sandy Fletcher 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.

Watch NASA TV for Monday Morning Spacewalk

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover will conduct their second spacewalk together Monday about 7 a.m. EST. NASA TV begins its live coverage at 5:30 a.m.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover will conduct their second spacewalk together Monday about 7 a.m. EST. NASA TV begins its live coverage at 5:30 a.m.

NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover are scheduled to depart the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Monday for a spacewalk to install a final lithium-ion battery adapter plate on the port 4 (P4) truss that will wrap up battery replacement work begun in January 2017.

The duo will set their spacesuits to battery power about 7 a.m. EST tomorrow, signifying the start of their spacewalk, which is expected to last about six and a half hours. NASA will begin its live coverage on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 5:30 a.m.

Hopkins and Glover plan also to replace an external camera on the starboard truss, install a new high-definition camera on the Destiny laboratory, and replace components for the Japanese robotic arm’s camera system outside the Kibo module.

This will be the 14th spacewalk since the power upgrade spacewalks began to change out batteries for eight power channels used to route electricity on the station.

This will be the 234th spacewalk in support of space station assembly. Hopkins will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 and wear a spacesuit bearing red stripes. Glover will be extravehicular crew member 2, wearing a suit with no stripes.

Hopkins and Glover arrived at the space station in November as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission. This will be the fourth spacewalk in Hopkins’ career, and the second for Glover.

Watch a video providing an overview of the spacewalk and 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 Go Into Weekend Prepping for Monday’s Spacewalk

NASA spacewalkers (front left) Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins are suited up and ready for the year’s first spacewalk as astronauts (rear left) Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA join them for a portrait.

Four Expedition 64 astronauts are going into the weekend preparing for a spacewalk on Monday for battery and high definition camera work. The other International Space Station residents will spend their time on research, maintenance and exercise.

Spacewalkers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover will partner with astronauts Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA over the weekend for spacewalk reviews, spacesuit checks and tool configurations. The quartet will also call down to mission controllers to discuss their readiness for Monday’s spacewalk.

The spacewalking duo will set their spacesuits to battery power about 7 a.m. EST signifying the official start time of their excursion. NASA TV will begin its live coverage at 5:30 a.m.

Hopkins’ and Glover’s first task Monday is to exit the Quest airlock and translate to the Port-4 truss structure for battery work. There they will install the final adapter plate and connect it to the final lithium-ion battery which is being robotically installed in advance of the spacewalk. This work will complete battery upgrades on the orbiting lab that had begun on previous station missions.

Next, the duo will maneuver to the opposite side of the station toward their starboard truss worksite and remove and replace high definition cameras then route ethernet cables. Finally, they will install a wrist vision camera on the Kibo laboratory module’s robotic arm.

During the spacewalk preparations on Friday, NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker tested the comfort of the experimental AstroRad radiation protection vest during an exercise session. She then installed tracking gear on an Astrobee robotic free flyer being tested for its ability to assist astronauts.

Walker later joined Rubins as crew medical officer and scanned the eyes of Hopkins and Noguchi with an ultrasound device. The ultrasound scans look at the crew member’s cornea, lens and optic nerve to gain  insights into eye and vision health in space.

Astronauts Relax, Turn Attention to Monday’s Spacewalk

NASA spacewalker Flight Engineer Victor Glover is dwarfed by the main solar arrays on the International Space Station's far port-side truss structure.
NASA spacewalker Flight Engineer Victor Glover is dwarfed by the main solar arrays on the International Space Station’s far port-side truss structure.

Four Expedition 64 astronauts are winding down today following Wednesday’s near seven-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The other three crew members stayed focused on space research and lab maintenance throughout Thursday.

Spacewalkers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover spent Thursday relaxing for a few hours before turning their attention to the next spacewalk set for Monday. Their assistants, Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA, joined the duo Thursday afternoon to review next week’s spacewalk.

The quartet first called down to mission controllers Thursday and discussed the previous day’s spacewalk when Hopkins and Glover installed a science antenna and readied the station for solar array upgrades. Rubins, with Noguchi as her back up, operated the Canadarm2 robotic arm, and assisted the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits.

Hopkins and Glover will exit the station again on Monday after they turn on their spacesuit batteries about 7 a.m. EST. They will spend six-and-a-half hours finishing battery maintenance and installing high definition cameras as Rubins and Noguchi monitor the duo. NASA TV will go on air at 5:30 a.m.

In the midst of the spacewalk preparations, NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker has been conducting microgravity science. Today she worked on a technology demonstration that seeks to simplify life support systems using capillary action and fluid dynamics to separate liquids and gases.

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov worked on Zarya module power systems while continuing to pack the Progress 76 resupply ship ahead of its Feb. 9 departure. Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov started the day on Russian plumbing tasks then checked radiation hardware and measurements.

Spacewalk Wraps Up With Upgrades on European Lab Module

Spacewalkers Victor Glover (top) and Michael Hopkins are pictured working on upgrades to the Bartomoleo science platform attached to Europe's Columbus lab module. Credit: NASA TV
Spacewalkers Victor Glover (top) and Michael Hopkins are pictured working on upgrades to the Bartolomeo science platform attached to Europe’s Columbus lab module. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover concluded their spacewalk at 1:24 p.m. EST, after 6 hours and 56 minutes. The two NASA astronauts completed a number of tasks designed to upgrade International Space Station systems.

The crew installed a Ka-band antenna, known as COL-Ka, on the outside of the ESA (European Space Agency) Columbus module, which will enable an independent, high-bandwidth communication link to European ground stations. Bartolomeo is partially operational and in a safe configuration following the connection of four of six cables to the science platform, and the final two cables that could not be connected will be attended to on a future spacewalk.

During the spacewalk, Hopkins and Glover also removed a pair of grapple fixture brackets on the far port (left) truss in preparation for future power system upgrades. Glover also worked to replace a suspected broken pin inside the station’s airlock as a “get ahead” task, but teams determined that a replacement pin was not needed after an inspection confirmed the current pin to be functioning properly.

Space station crew members have conducted 233 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 61 days, 1 hours, and 47 minutes working outside the station.

Hopkins has now completed his third spacewalk for total of 19 hours and 54 minutes outside the space station. This was the first spacewalk for Glover with a total of 6 hours and 56 minutes.

On Feb. 1, Hopkins and Glover will conduct another spacewalk to address a variety of tasks, including installation of a final lithium-ion battery adapter plate on the port 4 (P4) truss that will wrap up battery replacement work begun in January 2017. Hopkins and Glover will remove another grapple fixture bracket on the same truss segment, replace an external camera on the starboard truss, install a new high-definition camera on the Destiny laboratory, and replace components for the Japanese robotic arm’s camera system outside the Kibo 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.

Two Spacewalkers Exit Station for Science Upgrades

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins participates in a spacewalk in December of 2013 at the space station during Expedition 38.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins participates in a spacewalk in December of 2013 outside the space station during Expedition 38.

NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover have begun the first in a series of spacewalks to upgrade station hardware and systems.

The spacewalkers switched their spacesuits to battery power at 6:28 a.m. EST to begin the spacewalk, which is expected to last about six-and-a-half hours.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

Hopkins is extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the spacesuit with red stripes, and using helmet camera #18. Glover is extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the spacesuit with no stripes and helmet camera #20.

This spacewalk will be the third in Hopkins’ career and the first for Glover, and the 233rd spacewalk overall in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

Hopkins and Glover will work on completing cable and antenna rigging for the “Bartolomeo” science payloads platform outside the ESA (European Space Agency) Columbus module. The duo also will configure a Ka-band terminal that will enable an independent, high-bandwidth communication link to European ground stations. After completing the upgrades on the Columbus module, Hopkins and Glover will remove a grapple fixture bracket on the far port (left) truss in preparation 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.

Astronauts Prepare for Spacewalk Today Live on NASA TV

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins participates in a spacewalk in December of 2013 at the space station during Expedition 38.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins participates in a spacewalk in December of 2013 at the space station during Expedition 38.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover on the International Space Station is now underway and available on the agency’s website.

The crew is in the airlock and have put on their suits in preparation to exit the airlock and begin today’s activities.

Hopkins and Glover will work on completing cable and antenna rigging for the “Bartolomeo” science payloads platform outside the ESA (European Space Agency) Columbus module. The duo also will configure a Ka-band terminal that will enable an independent, high-bandwidth communication link to European ground stations. After completing the upgrades on the Columbus module, Hopkins and Glover will remove a grapple fixture bracket on the far port (left) truss in preparation for future power system upgrades.

Leading the mission control team today is Flight Director Rick Henfling with support from Sarah Korona 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.