UPDATE: The spacewalk has finished and was deemed a success by NASA. Full report here.
Two space station astronauts are on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station right now.
The extravehicular activity (EVA), as spacewalks are officially known, is being streamed live online. Read on for details on how to watch.
The walk is being conducted by Kate Rubins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The pair have a number of tasks to complete during the walk, which is likely to take between six and seven hours to complete.
For example, Rubins and Noguchi will spend some of their time outside installing a “stiffener” on the Quest airlock thermal cover to stop it from blowing out when residual atmosphere escapes as the hatch is opened, NASA said in notes about Friday’s spacewalk. “The crew also will remove and replace a wireless video transceiver assembly,” the space agency said.
Today’s EVA is the 236th in the history of station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades. It’s the fourth spacewalk for Rubins and also the fourth for Noguchi.
Rubins’ most recent spacewalk took place last weekend when she and NASA astronaut Victor Glover started work on assembling and installing modification kits needed for upcoming solar array upgrades.
You can watch the spacewalk on the player embedded at the top of this page, or via NASA’s Live TV channel.
Coverage is being broadcast from a slew of cameras. Some are fixed to the exterior of the ISS, while others are attached to the astronauts themselves.
Audio feeds between the astronauts and personnel at Mission Control will be included in the coverage, as will commentary explaining what the astronauts are doing.
Live coverage will begin at 5:30 a.m. ET, with the two astronauts scheduled to exit the station’s Quest airlock at about 7 a.m. ET. If that’s too early for you, then tune in later on as the spacewalk is likely to continue until around 1:30 p.m. ET.
For identification purposes, Rubins is wearing red stripes on her spacesuit as extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), while Noguchi is without stripes as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2).
Not surprisingly, spacewalks can produce some incredible imagery. Check out this impressive collection of photographs snapped during various expeditions over the years.
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