Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are making final preparations for a spacewalk scheduled for Friday, June 26.
It will be the first spacewalk since January 2020, and the 228th since the space station’s early beginnings in 1998.
The two astronauts getting suited and booted for the trip outside will be NASA’s Chris Cassidy, commander of the current Expedition 63, and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken, who arrived at the ISS at the start of this month with Doug Hurley aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon in the spacecraft’s first crewed flight.
Cassidy and Behnken will continue work on upgrading power systems on the space station, swapping old nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the Starboard-6 truss structure. The batteries store power collected from the station’s main solar arrays and distribute it throughout the space-based laboratory.
Both astronauts have experience with spacewalks. Cassidy has performed six on two missions since 2009, and Behnken has completed the same number on two missions since 2008.
The pair spent Monday afternoon going through the tools and procedures they’ll be using during Friday’s spacewalk. Hurley assisted both astronauts, and on Friday will help them in and out of their spacesuits while also performing the important task of monitoring their spacewalk activities.
Speaking recently about what he loves most about spacewalks, Behnken said the views of Earth are always extra special from outside the ISS. “After you’ve done a couple and know what to expect … it’s important to take some mental photographs, some mental images to remember what it was like to be outside so you can share that experience … so I’m really looking forward to taking advantage of some of those views,” the astronaut said.
Sure, that’s going to be a bit too early for lots of folks, but the good news is that the spacewalk is expected to last for up to seven hours, so just drop by any time throughout the morning.
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