NASA astronauts set for first of three spacewalks to repair ISS

New Delhi: On Thursday, October 5, two NASA astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) – Experdition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Mark Van Hei – will venture outside the orbiting laboratory to put things in order.

Spacewalks are events in support of the ISS assembly and maintenance, that science and space enthusiasts look forward to with the initiation of every consecutive expedition launch.

This will be the first in the series of three spacewalks scheduled for the month of October, with Bresnik taking the lead in all three.

According to NASA, Bresnik and Vande Hei will replace one of two Latching End Effectors (LEE) on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2. One of the Canadarm2 grappling mechanisms experienced a stall of its motorized latches last month, but the problem has had no effect on planned station operations.

A spare LEE is stored outside on the station’s truss. Canadarm2 has two identical Latching End Effectors used to grapple visiting cargo vehicles and payloads, provide data and telemetry to the rest of the Canadian-built Mobile Base System and the unique capability to “walk” from one location on the station’s truss to another.

NASA TV coverage of the spacewalks will begin at 6:30 am EDT. Watch it LIVE here.

Each spacewalk is scheduled to start at approximately 8:05 am EDT, however, the spacewalks may begin earlier if the crew is running ahead of schedule.

This will be Randy Bresnik’s third spacewalk and will mark Van Hei’s debut.