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NASA to conduct two spacewalks later this month

By Jay Jackson, New Zealand News
11 Oct 2018, 02:36 GMT+10

WASHINGTON DC - NASA on Wednesday announced it would be conducting spacewalks later this month, and they plan to broadcastr them live.

The walks on the International Space Stationwill take place on Friday 19 October, and Thursday 25 October 2018.

Astronauts will be attending to power system upgrades.

NASA plans to have experts available to preview the work at a public briefing they plan to hold on Tuesday 16 October 2018 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The experts include Kenneth Todd, the International Space Station Operations integration manager, Mary Lawrence, the spacewalk flight director, and Jaclyn Kagey, the lead spacewalk officer.

Live coverage of the briefing and spacewalks will air on NASA Television and the agencyswebsite.

NASA TV coverage of both spacewalks will begin at 6:30 aam on each day. The spacewalks will begin around 8:00. Each is planned to take about six-and-a-half hours to complete.

The spacewalks, NASA says, 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 on 27 September 2018.

Ground controllers will set the stage for the spacewalks by remotely swapping out old nickel-hydrogen batteries on the stations port truss, or backbone, using the stations robotic arm.

On 19 October 2018, space station Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Flight EngineerNick Hagueof 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, NASA says, will be the 213th and 214th in support of station assembly, maintenance and upgrades and the eighth and ninth this year.

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