The Expedition 70 crew continues preparing for a pair of spacewalks for science and maintenance outside the International Space Station (ISS). The orbital residents are also studying space piloting, observing Earth, and working on a treadmill today.
NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen are getting ready for their first spacewalk set to begin at 10 a.m. EST on October 12. The duo will use specialized tools to collect microbe samples from specific areas outside of the station. Scientists want to analyze the types of microbes that may be able to survive the harsh environment of outer space.
Broadcasting and Support Activities
NASA TV will broadcast both a preliminary spacewalk preview briefing and the upcoming spacewalks. The preview briefing, set for 1 p.m. EDT on Friday, will highlight next week’s spacewalk activities, as well as another spacewalk scheduled for October 20 with O’Hara and fellow NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli. The October 12 spacewalk broadcast begins at 8:30 a.m.
O’Hara and Mogensen tried on their spacesuits today with assistance from Moghbeli and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa. The duo tested the suits’ communication capabilities with ground controllers and practiced using some of the tools and procedures they will use during the microbe-sampling spacewalk. Moghbeli and Furukawa will assist the duo in and out of their spacesuits and monitor their spacewalking activities next week.
Activities of Roscosmos Engineers
The three Roscosmos flight engineers split their day with a variety of space science and maintenance activities. Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko attached sensors to himself measuring his responses as he practiced docking a spacecraft on a computer. The study aims to keep station crew members familiar with piloting a spacecraft and train crews for future missions. First-time cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov pointed his camera toward Earth and photographed forests to monitor the effects of natural and human activities.
Kononenko then joined Nikolai Chub, also a first-time cosmonaut, and spent the afternoon working on regularly scheduled maintenance on a treadmill inside the Zvezda service module. Chub and Borisov also worked on a variety of electronics and life support maintenance throughout the orbital lab’s Roscosmos segment.