Spacewalk Prep, Galactic Gardening, and Earth’s Night Glow on the Space Station

Canadarm2 Robotic Arm Extends From the Space Station Above Turkey

The Canadarm2 robotic arm extends from the International Space Station as it orbited 261 miles above Turkey. Below, the Sinai Peninsula, the Red Sea, and the Nile River Delta are pictured leading toward the Mediterranean Sea at bottom. Credit: NASA

Spacewalk preparations topped the Expedition 70 crew members’ schedule on Monday, October 23, as two Roscosmos cosmonauts gear up to exit the station on Wednesday, October 25, and two NASA astronauts look ahead to their first spacewalk next week.

Roscosmos Cosmonaut Spacewalk

Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub will venture outside of the International Space Station’s Poisk module at 2:10 p.m. EDT on Wednesday to install communications hardware, deploy a nanosatellite, and inspect the external backup radiator that experienced a coolant leak. The duo worked together today prepping tools they’ll use during their seven-hour excursion and installing lights and video cameras to the helmets of the Orlan suits they will don.

NASA Astronaut Loral O'Hara Tries On 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

NASA Astronauts Gear Up for Their Spacewalk

NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara worked in tandem today as they prepare for their first spacewalk next week. The duo will exit the station on Monday at 8:05 a.m. to remove the Radio Frequency Group—an electronics box—and replace bearing assemblies on a solar array rotary joint. Today, their prep was geared toward procedure reviews and will continue to ramp up throughout the rest of the week. Later in the evening, they were joined by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa and ESA (European Space Agency) Commander Andreas Mogensen for a conference with grounds teams.

Station Maintenance and Research Activities

In the realm of research, last month witnessed the final harvest of Arabidopsis plants from the Plant Habitat-03. This study seeks to grasp how one generation of plants might pass on adaptations to the next in the challenging conditions of microgravity. Today, Commander Mogensen tidied up the facility and readied Seed Bags for a forthcoming return to Earth. Concurrently, Furukawa attended to the replacement of a filter assembly in a system processing wastewater.

While most of the station residents focused on prep and procedure reviews for the upcoming spacewalks, Roscosmos Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov completed maintenance tasks and conducted an experiment that assesses the glow of Earth’s atmosphere at night in near ultraviolet.

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