Astronauts prepare for two upcoming flights in space
This will be the first spacewalk for Glover, who has been a few months into his first spaceflight on the station.
This will be the third spacewalk for Hopkins, who previously completed two spacewalks during his first six-month project to the space station from September 25, 2013 to March 10, 2014.
Hopkins, Glover, NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi flew to the station in November aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft. They joined NASA astronauts Kate Robins, Russian astronauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Svereshkov, who were already at the station after its October launch.
On both spacewalks, Hopkins will wear the spacesuit with red stripes as Crew 1 and Hopkins will wear the spacesuit without stripes as a crew member 2.
Astronauts will focus on completing the installation of Bartolomeo, the newest payload-hosting station outside the European Space Agency’s Columbus module, on January 27. They will complete the antenna and prepare cables for the power and data connections.
The Bartolomeo platform, named after the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, is the first example of a European business partnership providing a venue for scientific and technology demonstrations outside the space station, according to the European Space Agency.
The Columbus unit will also be upgraded with a station that provides an independent high-bandwidth communication link for European earth stations.
Astronauts will install the final lithium-ion battery adapter board on February 1. This installation concludes work to complete the replacement of old batteries outside the plant that started in January 2017.
During the two spacewalks, Robins will operate a robotic arm from inside the space station to assist the astronauts while they are working outside.
They will focus on other upgrades, such as replacing the standard outdoor camera with a new high-resolution camera at Destiny Lab, and will replace the camera and light components needed for the Japanese robotic arm camera system, located outside the Kibo unit.
„We’ve been talking about these two extra-vehicle activities (EVAs) for the better part of the year, so we’re excited to see them take place,“ said Kenny Todd, deputy director of the International Space Station program at NASA. Friday press conference.
There are more spacewalks planned for the crew near the end of February and the beginning of March.
Glover and Rubins will collaborate on the third round of spacewalks to set up the station’s power system to install new solar arrays, which will increase the station’s power supply.
During these long walks in space, astronauts go through alternating cycles of day and night every 45 minutes, working against hot and bright sunlight as well as cool darkness in space. This happens because the space station is orbiting Earth at 17,500 miles per hour.
While astronauts do not feel the direct effects of extreme cold and heat, there is potential for chills, so there are heaters installed in the astronaut gloves to keep their hands warm, Vincent Lacourt, NASA’s spaceflight director, told Spacewalk on February 1.
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