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International Space Station Is GO for Thursday Spacewalk

NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Nicole Mann is pictured in her Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), or spacesuit, after finishing a seven-hour and 21-minute spacewalk on January 20, 23023, installing a modification kit on the International Space Station’s starboard truss structure preparing the orbital lab for its next roll-out solar array. Credit: NASA

Mission managers have given the “go” for two astronauts to exit the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, February 2, 2023, and conduct a seven-hour spacewalk. While the spacewalk preparations were underway, the rest of the Expedition 68 crew kept up its ongoing schedule of human research, botany, and physics experiments.

Flight Engineers Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXAFormed in 2003, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was born through the merger of three institutions, namely the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA). JAXA performs various activities related to aerospace, from basic research in the aerospace field to development and utilization and is responsible for research, technology development, and launch of satellites into orbit, and is involved in advanced missions such as asteroid exploration and possible human exploration of the Moon.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>JAXA) will set their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), or spacesuits, to battery power at 8:15 a.m. ESTEST is an abbreviation for Eastern Standard Time, the time zone for the eastern coast of the United States and Canada when observing standard time (autumn/winter). It is five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time. New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, and the Kennedy Space Center are in the Eastern Time Zone (ET).” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>EST (5:15 a.m. PST) on Thursday. After their EMUs are set to battery power, the astronauts’ spacewalk officially begins and they will exit the Quest airlock into the vacuum of space and maneuver to the starboard truss structure. Once they arrive at the Starboard-4 truss, they will complete a modification kit installation job they began on January 20 to prepare the station for its next roll-out solar array.

Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is pictured in his Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), or spacesuit, during a seven-hour and 21-minute spacewalk on January 20, 2023, to install a modification kit on the International Space Station’s starboard truss structure preparing the orbital lab for its next roll-out solar array. Credit: NASA

Mann and Wakata started Wednesday readying their spacesuits and their components inside Quest. Afterward, NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is "To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity." Its core values are "safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion." NASA conducts research, develops technology and launches missions to explore and study Earth, the solar system, and the universe beyond. It also works to advance the state of knowledge in a wide range of scientific fields, including Earth and space science, planetary science, astrophysics, and heliophysics, and it collaborates with private companies and international partners to achieve its goals.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio joined the duo and began organizing spacewalking tools and hardware before a final procedures review and a conference with specialists on the ground. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anna Kikina also handed the spacewalking astronauts dosimeters, or radiation detectors, to attach to their spacesuits. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, will begin its live spacewalk coverage at 6:45 a.m. on Thursday.

Rubio began his day with NASA Flight Engineer Josh Cassada collecting and processing blood samples for spinning in a centrifuge, stowage in a science freezer, and later analysis. The pair then split up configuring advanced research hardware and an ultra-high resolution video camera. Cassada relocated two TangoLab facilities from a research rack in the Destiny laboratory module to a research rack in the Columbus laboratory module. The TangoLab cube modules enable a variety of space research from microbiology to chemistry. Cassada also watered tomato plants growing for the Veg-05 space botany study. Rubio installed the Sphere Camera-1 inside Destiny to evaluate its ultra-high resolution capabilities that may assist future space travelers with vehicle inspections, as well as Earth and space observations.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev continued testing a 3D printer checking its performance while being controlled from a computer. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin worked throughout the day packing the ISS Progress 82 resupply ship with trash and discarded gear before replacing air filters inside the Zvezda service module. Kikina, after handing over radiation detectors in the morning, worked inside the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module testing operations with the European robotic arm.

Source: SciTechDaily