International Space Station Crew Gearing Up for Three October Spacewalks


Two NASA astronauts will begin their first spacewalk, of the scheduled three, to fix the International Space Station (ISS) on October 5.

"It's more gorgeous and heavenly than I saw when I was out here eight years ago", Bresnik, a spacewalk veteran, marveled as he floated out of the airlock 250 miles above Africa. Bresnik and Vande Hei will conduct the second spacewalk together.

"Appreciate those words", Vande Hei replied.

For identification, Bresnik, call sign EV-1, is using helmet camera 18 and wearing a suit with red stripes.

These spacewalks will include lubricating the new LEEs on the robotic arm and replacing cameras on the ISS's truss and on the U.S. Destiny lab.

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The spacewalk will be the first out of their three planned for October that having the aim to get the Canadian robotic arm in good shape for doing effective work outside the ISS. The LEE works as the "hand" of Canadarm2 and is used to grapple incoming cargo spacecraft. The arm also relays power, data and video to and from attached payloads. The LEEs, located at either end of the arm, also provide other crucial data through complex electronics, camera and sensors, NASA officials said, but the arm was launched over 15 years ago and is in need of fix.

The Canadarm 2 measures 57.7 feet long, weighs almost 4,000 pounds, has seven joints and, in the weightless environment of low-Earth orbit, can move large spacecraft and modules from one point to another. They're complex devices, incorporating sensors, electronics, and a camera, so reparations are not an easy feat. Stretching 57 feet long when extended and weighing almost 4,000 pounds, the arm helps move large payloads. The Latching End Effectors, or LEEs, have been steadily deteriorating. The Canadarm2 has started experiencing some wear and tear.

The duo have been tasked to replace the arm.

When the spacewalk begins, Nespoli will head to the robotic workstation, where he will be able to remotely operate Canadarm2 and help the two spacewalkers reach the LEE at the end of the arm.