International Space Station Crew Gearing Up for Three October Spacewalks

Spacewalkers installing new hand on station’s robot arm

Spacewalkers installing new hand on station’s robot arm

The first of the three spacewalks is being carried out by Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei, both NASA astronauts.

Astronaut Randy Bresnik works outside the space station's Columbus laboratory module during a spacewalk in November 2009.

Bresnik and Vande Hei will venture back outside October 10 while Joe Acaba will join the station commander for the October 18 excursion.

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The duo astronauts will do a second space walk to lubricate the replaced LEE and replace a camera on the outside of the station.

Their main work involved the latching end of the Canadian-made arm, known as Canadarm2.

For identification, Bresnik, call sign EV-1, is using helmet camera 18 and wearing a suit with red stripes. The LEEs feature internal snares that rotate and tighten to lock onto grapple fixtures while latches engage to supply power, data and additional rigidity. Vande Hei, EV-2, is wearing an unmarked suit and is using helmetcam 20.

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The astronauts will fix the latching mechanism on the end of the Canadian robotic arm which is not functioning properly. Another five days later, October 15th, Bresnik will be joined by NASA astronaut Joe Acaba for a third spacewalk on to do more lubrication and another camera replacement.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't experience wear and tear. The second spacewalk is scheduled for October 10, and the third for October 18.

Bresnik will lead all three of the scheduled spacewalks. Nespoli will position the LEE between the two spacewalkers as they dangle from foot restraints on the space station's truss.

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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.

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