NASA is making final preparations for a spacewalk on Wednesday, July 1, to complete the task of swapping out batteries for one of the power channels on the International Space Station (ISS). And you can watch the event live online.
Astronauts Chris Cassidy, the commander of Expedition 63, and Bob Behnken, who arrived at the ISS a month ago aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon with Douglas Hurley, will carry out Wednesday’s spacewalk following a successful outing by the pair on Friday, June 26, that focused on the same task.
The batteries store power collected from the station’s main solar arrays. The astronauts are exchanging old nickel-hydrogen batteries for more powerful lithium-ion ones. Work on swapping out the components started in 2017, with Wednesday’s spacewalk expected to complete the operation.
The upcoming spacewalk will be the eighth for both Cassidy and Behnken. According to NASA, Cassidy has so far spent a total of 37 hours and 21 minutes spacewalking, while Behnken’s outings have lasted a total of 43 hours and 40 minutes.
Cassidy snapped the photo below during his work on the orbiting outpost last week. You can see SpaceX’s docked Crew Dragon spacecraft to the right of the picture.
— Bob Behnken (@AstroBehnken) June 27, 2020
NASA will begin livestreaming the event on its website, as well as on YouTube, at 6 a.m. ET on Wednesday, July 1. Cassidy and Behnken will exit the space station via its Quest airlock at 7:35 a.m. ET. If you’re in a part of the world where that’s just too darn early (or late) then no worries — the spacewalk could last for up to seven hours, so just check the time difference and drop by when you have a moment.
The stream will feature live footage from the astronauts’ helmet-cams, as well as other cameras, and also include audio of the exchanges between the astronauts and Mission Control in Houston, Texas.
Oh, and if you’re wondering who’s who, Cassidy can be identified by the red stripes on the legs of his spacesuit, while Behnken’s are all white.
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