Expedition 70’s Next Spacewalk: Sun Trackers & Communication Upgrades

Roscosmos Spacewalker Nikolai Chub

Expedition 70 Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub from Roscosmos is pictured during a spacewalk to inspect a backup radiator, deploy a nanosatellite, and install communications hardware on the International Space Station’s Nauka science module. Credit: NASA

The Expedition 70 crew is gearing up for another spacewalk planned at the beginning of November for maintenance on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS). The next United States orbital segment spacewalk now is scheduled for Wednesday, November 1, to allow the International Space Station crew and flight control team additional time to prepare for the excursion.

First Spacewalk for Moghbeli and O’Hara

NASA astronauts  Loral O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli will exit the station’s Quest airlock to remove an electronics box called the Radio Frequency Group that was part of a communications antenna system. They also will replace one of 12 trundle bearing assemblies on the station’s port solar alpha rotary joint. The bearings enable the station’s solar arrays to track the Sun. The spacewalk was previously planned for Monday, October 30.

Roscosmos Spacewalkers Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub

Expedition 70 Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko (suit with red stripes) and Nikolai Chub (suit with blue stripes), both from Roscosmos, are pictured during a spacewalk to inspect a backup radiator, deploy a nanosatellite, and install communications hardware on the International Space Station’s Nauka science module. Credit: NASA

U.S. Spacewalk 89 will be the first for both Moghbeli and O’Hara. Moghbeli will serve as extravehicular activity crew member 1 and will wear a suit with red stripes. O’Hara will serve as extravehicular crew member 2 and will wear an unmarked suit.

O’Hara and Moghbeli worked throughout Thursday checking tools and readying hardware they will take with them outside the Quest airlock for the maintenance spacewalk. The pair was also joined by astronauts Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) reviewing their spacewalk procedures during the afternoon.

NASA Astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli Tries On Spacesuit

Expedition 70 Commander Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) assists NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli as she tries on her spacesuit and tests its components aboard the International Space Station’s Quest airlock in preparation for an upcoming spacewalk. Credit: NASA

Daily Activities of the ISS Crew

O’Hara began her day installing communications hardware to support a laser technology study. Moghbeli spent a few moments on research maintenance removing a failed electronic unit from a science freezer and packing it for stowage. Mogensen analyzed station air samples and then transferred data collected from wearable health-monitoring gear.

Furukawa had time throughout the day to focus on a variety of science activities including examining microgravity’s effects on astronauts and setting up a biology microscope. The two-time station visitor first took a cognition test measuring how long-term space missions impact a crew member’s brain structure and function. Next, Furukawa prepared a microscope to observe how cells respond to weightlessness. He later scanned the neck, shoulder, and leg veins of Mogensen using the Ultrasound 2 device with assistance from doctors on the ground.

The orbiting lab’s three cosmonauts slept in Thursday following a seven-hour and 41-minute spacewalk the day before. Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chub, and Konstantin Borisov awoke mid-afternoon and conducted post-spacewalk cleanup activities then held a conference with specialists on the ground. Borisov would later collect air samples for analysis and configure life support gear in the Nauka science module.

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