Three American astronauts aboard the International Space Station will embark on a trio of spacewalks in October to perform station maintenance. NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of the spacewalks, as well as a briefing to discuss the work to be performed.
The briefing to preview the spacewalks, extravehicular activities (EVAs) 44, 45 and 46, will air at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Oct. 2, from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The briefing participants are:
- Kenneth Todd, International Space Station Operations Integration Manager
- Judd Frieling, NASA Spacewalk Flight Director
- Tim Braithwaite, International Space Station Program Liaison for the Canadian Space Agency
- Jacklyn Kagey, U.S. Spacewalk 44 EVA officer
- Glenda Brown, U.S. Spacewalk 45 and 46 EVA officer
NASA TV coverage of the spacewalks will begin at 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 5, 10 and 18. Each spacewalk is scheduled to start at approximately 8:05 a.m., however, the spacewalks may begin earlier if the crew is running ahead of schedule.
U.S. media may attend the preview briefing at Johnson and other participating NASA centers, and must request credentials in advance. Media interested in participating by telephone must call the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 1:45 p.m. on the day of the briefing.
Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA will lead all three spacewalks, joined on Oct. 5 and 10 by Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei, also of NASA. Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA will join Bresnik on Oct. 18 for the third spacewalk.
During the first spacewalk, Bresnik and Vande Hei will replace one of two Latching End Effectors (LEE) on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2. One of the Canadarm2 grappling mechanisms experienced a stall of its motorized latches last month, but the problem has had no effect on planned station operations. A spare LEE is stored outside on the station’s truss. Canadarm2 has two identical Latching End Effectors used to grapple visiting cargo vehicles and payloads, provide data and telemetry to the rest of the Canadian-built Mobile Base System and the unique capability to “walk” from one location on the station’s truss to another.
The second and third spacewalks will be devoted to lubricating the newly replaced Canadarm2 end effector and replacing cameras on the left side of the station’s truss and the right side of the station’s U.S. Destiny laboratory.
The spacewalks will be the third, fourth and fifth of Bresnik’s career and the third for Acaba. Vande Hei will be conducting his first two spacewalks.