NASA to Televise Two Spacewalks, Preview Briefing

NASA (October 9, 2018) — NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor assists ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Alexander Gerst with a spacesuit fit-check on Sept. 17, 2018, in preparation for spacewalks on Oct. 19 and 25, 2018. The two Expedition 56 crew members are at work inside the Quest airlock of the International Space Station, where U.S. spacewalks are staged.

Photo courtesy of NASA

Astronauts on the International Space Station will conduct spacewalks Friday, Oct. 19, and Thursday, Oct. 25, to continue power system upgrades, and experts will preview the work during a news conference Tuesday, Oct. 16, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Live coverage of the briefing and spacewalks will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Media wishing to attend the briefing at 2 p.m. EDT must request credentials from the Johnson newsroom no later than 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15. Media interested in participating by phone must contact the newsroom by 1:45 p.m. Oct. 16.

Participants in the briefing will be:

  • Kenneth Todd, International Space Station Operations integration manager
  • Mary Lawrence, spacewalk flight director
  • Jaclyn Kagey, lead spacewalk officer

NASA TV coverage of both spacewalks will begin at 6:30 a.m., and the spacewalks will begin around 8 a.m. Each is planned to take about six-and-a-half hours to complete.

The spacewalks will focus on replacing older technology batteries with six new lithium-ion batteries. The new batteries, and accompanying adapter plates, arrived at the station on the Japanese H-II Transport Vehicle-7 (HTV-7) cargo craft Sept. 27. Ground controllers will set the stage for the spacewalks by remotely swapping out old nickel-hydrogen batteries on the station’s port truss, or “backbone,” using the station’s robotic arm.

On Oct. 19, space station Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Flight Engineer Nick Hague of NASA will venture outside the Quest airlock for the first excursion to upgrade two power channels. This will be the second spacewalk for Gerst and the first for Hague. Six days later, Gerst and Hague again will team up to complete the power system upgrades.

The spacewalks will be the 213th and 214th in support of station assembly, maintenance and upgrades and the eighth and ninth this year.