The mirror like visor of NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman reflects NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore during their Oct. 15, 2014 spacewalk outside the International Space Station. Both Flight Engineers are in the process of making repairs which include removing and replacing a power regulator known as a sequential shunt unit, which failed back in mid-May. The two spacewalkers also moved TV and camera equipment in preparation for the relocation of the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module to accommodate the installation of new docking adapters for future commercial crew vehicles.
NASA TV Previews and Broadcasts Space Station U.S. Spacewalks
Two NASA astronauts from the International Space Station’s Expedition 42 crew will venture outside the orbital complex on Friday, Feb. 20; Tuesday, Feb. 24; and Sunday, March 1. They will prepare cables and communications gear for new docking ports that will allow future crews launched from Florida on U.S. commercial spacecraft to dock to the space station.
NASA TV will provide comprehensive coverage, beginning with a preview news briefing Wednesday, Feb. 18.
The preview briefing will be broadcast at 2 p.m. EST from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Media may take part in person or by telephone. Reporters who want to ask questions by phone must call Johnson’s newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. Cell phones are discouraged.
The panelists for the briefing are:
Kenneth Todd, International Space Station Operations and Integration manager
Tomas Gonzalez-Torres, Expedition 42 lead flight director
Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts will exit the station from the Quest airlock for each of the three spacewalks around 7:10 a.m. NASA TV coverage of the approximately six-and-a-half hour spacewalks will begin at 6 a.m.
Built by Boeing under contract to NASA, the International Docking Adapters are a critical component of the station's reconfiguration to ensure long-term docking ports for future commercial crew and other visiting spacecraft. They will permit the standard station crew size to grow from six to seven, potentially doubling the amount of time devoted to research aboard the orbiting laboratory.
The two new docking adapters will be launched to the station on a pair of SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft this year. Astronauts will install the first of two adapters on Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 on the forward end of the station’s Harmony module during a future spacewalk. The second adapter will be installed on Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 after it is relocated robotically to the space-facing port of Harmony later this year.
The spacewalks will be the 185th, 186th and 187th in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Wilmore has conducted one spacewalk in his career last October. The spacewalks will be the first of Virts' career.
Expedition 42 spacewalkers Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts are scheduled to conduct three spacewalks with the first to begin Friday. Credit: NASA
NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts are counting down to the first of three assembly spacewalks set to begin Friday at 7:10 a.m. EST. The duo checked out their rescue jet packs they would use in the unlikely event they became untethered from the International Space Station. The spacewalks will prepare the station for new commercial crew vehicle docking ports.
First of Three Spacewalks Now Set for Saturday
(From left) Expedition 42 cosmonauts Elena Serova, Anton Shkaplerov and Alexander Samokutyaev work inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. Credit: NASA TV
NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts are preparing to ready the International Space Station for a pair of international docking adapters (IDAs) that will allow future commercial crew vehicles to dock. The duo is almost set to start a series of three spacewalks routing cables and preparing the Canadarm2 for the installation of the IDAs to be delivered later this year.
The first spacewalk is now set to begin Saturday at 7:10 a.m. EST with NASA TV live coverage starting at 6 a.m. The second and third spacewalks are planned for Feb. 25 and March 1, both beginning at 7:10 a.m.
Amidst the spacewalk preparations, the Expedition 42 crew members continued ongoing advanced microgravity science benefiting life on Earth and current and future crew members. The crew looked at stem growth for the Aniso Tubule botany experiment, cell cultures grown on orbit and a crew member’s cardiac activity during long-duration missions.
Upcoming Spacewalks to Prepare Space Station for U.S. Commercial Crew Arrivals
Change is on the horizon for the International Space Station as three upcoming spacewalks prepare the orbiting laboratory for future arrivals by U.S. commercial crew spacecraft.
The spacewalks are designed to lay cables along the forward end of the U.S. segment to bring power and communication to two International Docking Adapters slated to arrive later this year. The new docking ports will welcome U.S. commercial spacecraft launching from Florida beginning in 2017, permitting the standard station crew size to grow from six to seven and potentially double the amount of crew time devoted to research.
The third of the three space walks will see the installation of two new communication antennas on opposite ends of the station’s truss to assist in the commercial crew vehicles approach for docking. The spacewalks are planned for Saturday, Feb. 21; Wednesday, Feb. 25; and Sunday, March 1, with Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts participating in all three.
“The challenge for the ISS is going to be continuing maturity over multiple decades of the station and what it will do for crew on the path to commercialization,” said Kenny Todd, International Space Station Operations Integration manager. “It’s fun, it’s exciting and we’re looking forward to transforming the station.”
The goal of these spacewalks is to prepare two berthing ports on the U.S. for the docking for commercial crew transport ships. The station has eight ports for cargo and crew total, including the U.S. and international segments.
All three EVAs will be performed in U.S. spacesuits, and will last around six and a half hours each.
Boeing and SpaceX were recently awarded Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contracts with NASA to develop solutions for U.S. astronaut transportation to and from the space station. After NASA crews begin fly with these contractors, it is expected to double the amount of time devoted to science in space from 40 hours to 80 hours per week. U.S. commercial crew capabilities also could provide a faster turnaround to bring completed experiments from the orbiting laboratory back to Earth.
SpaceX’s sixth commercial resupply mission is scheduled to launch to the station no earlier than April and will bring with supplies and equipment to support more than 200 research investigations. The two new docking adapters will be launched to the station on a pair of SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft later this year. SpaceX is targeting its new Crew Dragon spacecraft to make an uncrewed flight test in late 2016 and a crewed flight test in early 2017.
Boeing is working with NASA on its CST-100 spacecraft, which will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Boeing recently announced future projects including a pad abort test in February 2017, an orbital flight test in April 2017, and a crewed flight test with one Boeing test pilot and one NASA astronaut in July 2017.
The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA's next great leap in exploration, including future missions to an asteroid and Mars.
SS042E277380 (02/16/2015) — U.S. Astronaut Terry Virts, Flight Engineer for Expedition 42 on the International Space Station Feb. 16, 2015 checks out his spacesuit in preparation for the upcoming Extracurricular Activity (EVA) or Spacewalk for installation of a new port. This port will be for the commercial spacecraft as well as other craft in the future.
NASA Television will provide live coverage of tomorrow’s U.S. spacewalk conducted from the International Space Station beginning at 6 a.m. EST. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 7:10 a.m. and run about 6 1/2 hours.
Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts will venture outside the orbital complex in the first of three spacewalks in the coming days to prepare cables and communications gear for new docking ports that will allow future crews launching from Florida on U.S. commercial spacecraft to dock to the space station.
Update: 16.30 MEZ
Change is on the horizon for the International Space Station as three upcoming spacewalks prepare the orbiting laboratory for future arrivals by U.S. commercial crew spacecraft. NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts will route cables and prepare the Canadarm2 for the installation of the International Docking Adaptors to be delivered later this year. The first 6.5-hour spacewalk began this morning at 7:45 a.m. EST.