9. Februar 2018
NASA TV to Air US Spacewalk at the International Space Station and the Docking of a Russian Space Station Cargo Ship Launch
Two astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station Thursday, Feb. 15, to move components for the station’s robotic system into long-term storage. Live coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 5:30 a.m. EST on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Expedition 54 Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei of NASA and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are scheduled to begin the spacewalk at 7:10 a.m. and finish about 1:40 p.m.
The two spacewalkers will move a Latching End Effector (LEE), or hand, for the Canadian-built robotic arm, Canadarm2, from a payload attachment on the station’s Mobile Base System rail car to the Quest airlock. This LEE was replaced during an Expedition 53 spacewalk in October 2017, and will be returned to Earth to be refurbished and returned to the orbiting laboratory as a spare.
They also will move an aging, but functional, LEE that was removed during a Jan. 23 spacewalk from its temporary storage outside the airlock to a long-term storage location where it will be available as a spare part for the Mobile Base System, which is used to move the arm and astronauts along the station’s truss structure.
The spacewalk originally was scheduled Jan. 29 but was postponed when a new LEE installed during the Jan. 23 spacewalk encountered startup issues. Those issues were resolved Jan. 27 through software updates written by Canadian Space Agency robotics specialists.
The spacewalk will be the 208th in support of space station assembly and maintenance and the third station spacewalk this year. The spacewalk will be the fourth spacewalk in Vande Hei’s career and the first for Kanai, who will become the fourth Japanese astronaut to walk in space. Vande Hei will wear the suit bearing the red stripes and Kanai’s suit will have no stripes.
A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch at 3:58 a.m. EST (2:58 p.m. Baikonur time) Sunday, Feb. 11, to resupply the International Space Station.
The launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docking to the space station will be carried live on NASA Television the agency’s website beginning at 3:30 a.m.
NASA TV coverage will resume at 6:30 a.m., when the Progress 69 cargo vehicle, planned for a fast-track to the world’s only orbital laboratory, will dock at 7:24 a.m. The three-and-a-half hour trip will demonstrate an expedited capability for potential use on future Russian cargo and crew launches to the complex.
If any technical issues are identified by Russian flight controllers in the early stage of the flight, the spacecraft will be capable of defaulting to a standard two-day rendezvous profile. The new Progress spacecraft will remain at the international outpost until late August.
Images: NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei captured this selfie with his helmet visor up during a spacewalk on Jan. 23, 2018. NASA; The Progress 68 cargo spacecraft docked to the International Space Station is seen in the upper left of this image as the unique microgravity laboratory orbits above the Falkland Islands off the coast of the southern-most portion of Argentina on the continent of South America. NASA
To watch both events go to nasa.gov/nasalive