Two NASA astronauts will upgrade a crucial International Space Station science module in orbit during a spacewalk today (Jan. 27), and you can watch the whole thing live.
The spacewalk is expected to start at 7 a.m. EST (1130 GMT) if the final suit-up procedures go to plan, and to last about six and a half hours, according to NASA. Coverage will start at 5:30 a.m. EST (1000 GMT), and you can watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.
Floating in space will be flight engineers Michael Hopkins (on his third spacewalk, wearing red stripes on his spacesuit as he is lead spacewalker) and Victor Glover (on his first).
During today’s spacewalk the astronauts will focus on finishing essential cable and antenna setup for a new research platform, Bartolomeo, outside the European Space Agency’s Columbus module. Bartolomeo will host up to 12 research experiments simultaneously in fields such as astrophysics, robotics and material physics.
Other spacewalking tasks will include configuring a high-speed Ka-band terminal that will allow the science module to communicate independently with European ground stations, and removing a grapple fixture bracket to prepare for future power system upgrades, NASA added.
History of NASA: $22.99 at Magazines Direct
Discover the story of how and why NASA was created, its greatest triumphs, darkest days, and of the times it exceeded all possible hopes. A tale of adventure, heroism and resourcefulness, learn of the space agency’s greatest achievements and how — over six decades — the organization has consistently and tirelessly devoted itself to its founding principle: that “activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all humankind”. View Deal
Bartolomeo in the parking position below the Destiny module on the International Space Station (ISS). The European external platform Bartolomeo is an enhancement of the International Space Station (ISS) European Columbus Module and its infrastructure. (Image credit: NASA)
At least three more spacewalks are on tap for the Expedition 64 crew, including one with the same astronauts on Monday (Feb. 1), when Glover and Hopkins will install the final lithium-ion battery adapter plate to wrap up four years of crucial battery upgrades on the space station, which replaced older and less powerful nickel-hydrogen batteries.
Other tasks on Monday’s spacewalk include removing another grapple fixture bracket, installing two cameras, and replacing components for the Japanese robotic arm’s camera system outside the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Kibo module.
NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins (foreground) and Victor Glover configure tools inside the International Space Station’s Quest airlock on Jan. 8, 2021, to prepare for two planned spacewalks. (Image credit: NASA)
A third spacewalk (date to be announced) will see Glover and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins prepare the space station power system for a power boost using new solar arrays. The fourth extravehicular activity — also not yet scheduled — will have Rubins and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi do more station upgrades, which NASA will outline during a future media briefing.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.