With over two weeks of preparation, two astronauts with NASA TV coverage conduct an extensive spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The following article comprises a series of articles over the last two days written by NASA’s Mark Garcia.
Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will venture outside the International Space Station for a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk Friday, March 24. The spacewalk coverage will begin at 8 a.m. EDT, with complete coverage on NASA TV and the agency’s website starting at 6:30 a.m.
The two astronauts will prepare the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) for installation of the second International Docking Adapter, which will accommodate commercial crew vehicle dockings.
Kimbrough and Pesquet will disconnect cables and electrical connections on PMA-3 to prepare for its robotic move Sunday, March 26. The PMA-3 provides the pressurized interface between the station modules and the docking adapter. PMA-3 will be moved from the port side of the Tranquility module to the space-facing side of the Harmony module, where it will become home for the docking adapter, which will be delivered on a future flight of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. The spacewalkers also will install on the starboard zero truss a new computer relay box equipped with advanced software for the adapter.
The two astronauts will lubricate the latching end effector on the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator “extension” for the Canadarm2 robotic arm, inspect a radiator valve suspected of a small ammonia leak and replace cameras on the Japanese segment of the outpost. Radiators are used to shed excess heat that builds up through normal space station operation.
This will be the 198th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Kimbrough, who will embark on the fifth spacewalk of his career, will be wearing helmet camera #18. This will be the second spacewalk of Pesquet’s career, and he will be wearing helmet camera #20.
Two astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 7:24 a.m., EDT aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about six-and-a-half hours. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will further prepare the space station for commercial spacecraft dockings, as well as perform maintenance and inspection.
Kimbrough is designated extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit bearing red stripes. Pesquet is designated extravehicular crewmember 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes.
And yesterday, preparations continued:
Two astronauts are getting the Quest airlock and their equipment ready for a Friday morning spacewalk. The cosmonauts continued their human research program today exploring the various affects living in space.
Spacewalkers Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet will exit the Quest airlock Friday at 8 a.m. EDT to begin setting up the International Space Station for future commercial crew missions. The duo will work outside for about 6.5 hours on the first of three spacewalks scheduled to take place over the next two weeks.
Friday’s major tasks include disconnecting cables from the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 ahead of its relocation from the Tranquility module to the Harmony module on Sunday. The latching end of the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator will also be lubricated and computer relay boxes with commercial crew software upgrades will be replaced. NASA TV will cover the spacewalk activities live beginning Friday at 6:30 a.m.
Cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Oleg Novitskiy collected their blood, saliva and urine samples today for a metabolism study and an immunity experiment. Researchers will analyze these samples to learn how microgravity affects humans and provide countermeasures to keep crew members healthy.
Earlier, this past Wednesday, on board preparations were underway for the upcoming spacewalk:
Three astronauts are preparing for a Friday morning spacewalk to upgrade and maintain the International Space Station’s external systems. The three cosmonauts stayed focused today on their set of Russian space experiments and life support work.
Astronauts Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency are reviewing procedures for the spacewalk set to begin Friday at 8 a.m. EDT with live NASA TV coverage at 6:30 a.m. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson joined the pair for the review and will assist the spacewalkers from inside the station.
Friday’s spacewalk will see Kimbrough and Pesquet begin setting up the station for future commercial crew missions. They will prepare the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 for removal from the Tranquility module to the Harmony module. The astronauts will also replace computer relay boxes with software upgrades for future dockings of commercial crew vehicles.
In the midst of the spacewalk work today, Pesquet received a call from the French President Francois Hollande who toured an observatory with school children outside Lyon, France. Kimbrough and Whitson answered questions submitted by social media fans on Facebook Live Tuesday morning
Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Andrey Borisenko documented what they ate for breakfast and lunch today for a pair of nutrition studies. The experiments are researching how diet affects a crew member’s metabolism and bone structure while living in space. Flight Engineer Sergey Ryzhikov spent the day checking Russian life support gear and sampling drinking water.
Preparations continued for the upcoming spacewalk for March 24th with an incredible view of ISS attached spaceships orbiting earth:
The astronauts took a break from spacewalk preparations today and checked out an expandable module and worked on science freezers. The crew also continued its human research program exploring space nutrition and the effects of microgravity on metabolism and the immune system.
Thomas Pesquet opened the hatches to the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) today for a status check. The European Space Agency astronaut sampled BEAM’s air and surfaces for microbes and installed impact sensors. He also used a digital camera with a fish-eye lens to capture 360-degree imagery of the inside of BEAM.
Veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson serviced three science freezers ensuring biological samples can be preserved for return on an upcoming SpaceX Dragon mission. She also brushed up on robotics skills necessary for Friday’s spacewalk.
Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy logged his meals again today before collecting saliva samples for an immunity study. Flight Engineer Andrey Borisenko researched how living in space long term affects metabolism and a crew member’s psychophysiological state.
Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.
Written By: Mark Garcia NASA
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