Science

Spacewalking astronauts making repairs on International Space Station in October

Spacewalking astronauts making repairs on International Space Station in October

Two NASA astronauts will begin their first spacewalk, of the scheduled three, to fix the International Space Station (ISS) on October 5.

Thursday's spacewalk was the first of three scheduled spacewalks this month aimed at repairing and maintaining various pieces of equipment outside the ISS, and was the 203rd spacewalk in the history of the space station. The astronauts onboard the mission are Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Mark Van Hei.

Their main work involved the latching end of the Canadian-made arm, known as Canadarm2.

A few moments later, Vande Hei, making his first spacewalk, made his way outside. Canadarm2 is anchored to the MBS and can be moved along the base's truss by the LEEs. Joe Acaba arrived at the space station September 12 for his third mission to space. This bundle of latches - more than a metre long - also attaches to grapple fixtures outside the space station. As extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV 1), Bresnik gets to wear the suit with red stripes on it, while Vande Hei (EV 2) will wear a plain white suit.

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The spacewalk will be the first out of their three planned for October that having the aim to get the Canadian robotic arm in good shape for doing effective work outside the ISS.

When the spacewalk begins, Nespoli will head to the robotic workstation, where he will be able to remotely operate Canadarm2 and help the two spacewalkers reach the LEE at the end of the arm.

The second and third spacewalks will concentrate on the lubrication of the LEE and the installation of a pair of external cameras. Nespoli will position the LEE between the two spacewalkers as they dangle from foot restraints on the space station's truss. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba will join Bresnik for the third and final spacewalk.


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