Astronauts Prep for Thursday Spacewalk During Space Station Upkeep and Research

ISS From SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour Flyaround 2021

The International Space Station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a flyaround of the orbiting lab that took place following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port on November 8, 2021. Credit: NASA Johnson

NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron are reviewing the procedures they will use during Thursday’s spacewalk. The duo will exit the International Space Station after setting their U.S. spacesuits to battery power at 7:10 a.m. EST signifying the start of their spacewalk.

Marshburn and Barron are getting ready to replace a faulty antenna system outside on the orbiting lab’s Port-1 truss structure. Live NASA TV coverage of the spacewalk begins Thursday at 5:30 a.m. on the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

The pair were joined by fellow flight engineers Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, and Matthias Maurer, including spacewalk specialists on the ground, for a spacewalk procedures conference on Wednesday. Vande Hei and Chari from NASA will help Marshburn and Barron in and out of their spacesuits as well as monitor the pair during the six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk. Maurer from ESA (European Space agency) will be commanding the Canadarm2 robotic arm maneuvering Marshburn and gear during the antenna swap work.

While the two spacewalkers gear up for Thursday’s excursion, the station’s other three astronauts and two cosmonauts still had time for electronics and communications servicing while conducting microgravity research.

Vande Hei replaced a failed global positioning system receiver as Chari photographed the condition of electronics gear that supports commercial spaceflight operations. Maurer checked tested electrical hardware and switches inside the Columbus laboratory module.

In the station’s Russian segment, Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov studied how stress during and after a space mission affects the immune system. Station Commander Anton Shkaplerov worked on Russian video equipment and began setting up additional crew quarters for an upcoming Soyuz crew ship mission.

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