NASA Astronauts Are “Go” for Spacewalk Today

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara

(From left) Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara pose for portraits in their spacesuits at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Credit: NASA

Final preparations are underway as the Expedition 70 crew gets ready for a maintenance spacewalk on Wednesday. Meanwhile, human research and a manufacturing study continued aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday, October 31.

Mission managers have given the go for NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara to conduct a nearly seven-hour spacewalk beginning at 8:05 a.m. EDT Wednesday. The duo will remove radio communications gear and swap hardware that enables the orbiting lab’s solar arrays to track the Sun. NASA TV will begin its spacewalk coverage at 6:30 a.m. on the agency’s app and website.

Astronaut Loral O’Hara Tries On Her Spacesuit

NASA astronaut and Expedition 70 Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara is pictured trying on her spacesuit and testing its components aboard the International Space Station’s Quest airlock in preparation for an upcoming spacewalk. Credit: NASA

Crew and Spacewalk Preparations

The duo was joined today by Commander Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration) for the daylong spacewalk preparations. Moghbeli and O’Hara kicked off the day with standard medical exams as Mogensen assisted the pair during the temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory checks. Furukawa gathered with the three astronauts reviewing the spacewalk procedures and calling down to ground specialists for a final readiness conference.

Moghbeli and O’Hara also readied their tools and spacesuits inside the Quest airlock where they will begin tomorrow’s spacewalk. This will be the first spacewalk for both astronauts and the 12th at the space station this year.

Roscosmos Cosmonaut 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

Activities of Cosmonauts on the Station

The space station’s three cosmonauts stayed focused on their daily schedule of science and maintenance in the Roscosmos segment of the station. The trio also finalized their clean-up tasks following last Wednesday’s spacewalk.

Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko attached sensors to himself in the morning for a 24-hour session measuring his cardiac and blood pressure activity. Afterward, he swapped samples inside a 3D printer for a study exploring space manufacturing techniques. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub opened the hatch between the Poisk module and Progress 84 cargo craft and stowed spacewalk tools he and Kononenko used last week. Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov handed over radiation detectors the astronauts will wear on their spacesuits on Wednesday then spent the rest of the day on life support and maintenance tasks.

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