Spacewalks Ahead: Expedition 69 Astronauts on a Solar Quest

Spacewalker Woody Hoburg Rides the Canadarm2 Robotic Arm

NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg rides the Canadarm2 robotic arm while maneuvering a roll-out solar array toward the International Space Station’s truss structure 257 miles above the Pacific Ocean. In the rear, is the SpaceX Dragon crew vehicle that docked to the Harmony module’s forward port on March 3 carrying four SpaceX Crew-6 crew members. Credit: NASA

NASA astronauts are set for a spacewalk on Thursday to install another new solar array on the ISS, following a computer-simulated robotic training session. In parallel, three cosmonauts are preparing for a separate spacewalk next week for hardware replacement and module inspection. Regular maintenance and health check-ups also took place aboard the station.

Four Expedition 69 astronauts practiced simulated robotic maneuvers on a computer today to support a spacewalk scheduled for Thursday, June 15. Three cosmonauts are gearing up for another spacewalk planned to take place next week from the Roscosmos segment of the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg are preparing for their second spacewalk together set to start at 8:55 a.m. EDT on Thursday. The spacewalkers will install the orbital outpost’s sixth roll-out solar array on the opposite side of the starboard truss segment opposite where they installed the fifth roll-out solar array on Friday, June 9. NASA TV will begin its live broadcast of the spacewalk at 7:30 a.m. on the agency’s app and website.

Astronauts Frank Rubio and Woody Hoburg Spacesuit Fit Check

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio (right) assists NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg during a fit check of his spacesuit inside the International Space Station’s Quest airlock. Credit: NASA

Bowen and Hoburg joined Flight Engineers Frank Rubio of NASA and Sultan Alneyadi of UAE (United Arab Emirates) for robotics training on a computer on Tuesday afternoon. The quartet practiced simulated Canadarm2 robotic arm maneuvers necessary to support Bowen and Hoburg when they remove the roll-out solar array from its flight support equipment and install it on the starboard truss. The two spacewalkers also prepared their tools inside the Quest airlock, printed checklists they will attach to their spacesuit cuffs, and reviewed more spacewalk procedures on a computer.

The four astronauts joined each other at the end of the day for eye checks as Bowen and Hoburg scanned the eyes of Rubio and Alneyadi using standard medical imaging gear found in an optometrist’s office. Rubio and Alneyadi spent the first part of their day servicing a variety of exercise equipment and orbital plumbing hardware.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin spent all day Tuesday preparing for a spacewalk planned for Thursday, June 22. The duo studied procedures and located tools they will use when they exit the orbital outpost’s Poisk airlock next week. The two cosmonauts will remove and replace communications and science hardware and photograph the condition of the Zvezda service module during next week’s spacewalk.

Roscosmos Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev worked throughout Tuesday maintaining Zvezda’s Elektron oxygen generator and replacing smoke detectors in the Nauka science module. At the end of the day, Fedyaev worked out on the advanced resistive exercise device while ground specialists monitored his workout form and hardware operations.

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