Two NASA astronauts will head outside the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday to begin a 6.5-hour spacewalk. During the spacewalk at approximately 8 AM (5.30 PM India time), Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold will install wireless communications antennas and replace a camera system, NASA said in a blog post on Wednesday. They will also attempt to remove suspect hoses from a cooling system, it said. This will be the 209th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance.
Spacewalkers Feustel and Arnold have their tools and suits ready for Thursday’s excursion, NASA said in an earlier blog post on the same day. They wrapped up final reviews with Flight Engineers Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai who will assist the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits, it added. The spacewalk by Feustel and Arnold will be the fourth this year for the orbital lab maintenance.
Meanwhile, a Russian cargo craft departed the space station on Wednesday after completing a six-month stay at the Pirs docking compartment. It will orbit Earth for a month where Russian ground controllers will conduct a series of engineering tests on the 68P. The cargo ship will then reenter the atmosphere on April 25 loaded with trash and discarded items for a fiery but safe demise over the Pacific Ocean, NASA said.