Crew Works on Spacewalk Preparations and Science Hardware

Astronaut Josh Cassada conducts research operations inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a space physics study.
Astronaut Josh Cassada conducts research operations inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a space physics study.

Spacewalk preparations are continuing aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 68 crew ensures the operations of research hardware in microgravity.

Flight Engineers Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are scheduled for their first spacewalk together at the end of the week. The astronauts spent a couple of hours on Tuesday morning reviewing procedures they will use to install power upgrades hardware that will ready the orbiting lab for its next roll-out solar array on a future spacewalk.

The duo will set their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), or spacesuits, to battery power at 8:15 a.m. EST on Friday signifying the beginning of their spacewalk. Mann and Wakata are expected to work outside in the vacuum of space for about six-and-a-half hours on the starboard side of the space station’s truss structure.

Mann wrapped up her day removing a small satellite deployer from inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock. Wakata began his day demonstrating simple space physics experiments for children on Earth before finally calibrating components inside the Combustion Integrated Rack.

NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio spent Tuesday morning tending to research samples and servicing a variety of science gear. Rubio started the day in the Destiny laboratory module nourishing samples and cleaning hardware for a study exploring ways to heal bone conditions on and off the Earth. Rubio then spent the afternoon inside the Columbus laboratory module connecting communications and networking hardware.

NASA astronaut Josh Cassada watered tomato plants growing for the Veg-05 space botany study. Cassada ended his day gathering hardware and setting up Kibo’s Life Science Glovebox for upcoming operations for the bone condition study.

Prokopyev and Petelin spent Tuesday working inside a pair Progress resupply ships on both cargo transfers and air and water tank maintenance. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anna Kikina worked inside the Zarya module replacing electronics hardware.

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.

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