Space Station Astronauts Are Taking a Spacewalk Today

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.

This will be the first of three spacewalks taking place this month for maintenance at the International Space Station.

The outing by Americans Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei ended at 3pm (3am on Friday Singapore time), marking a "very successful day", a Nasa spokesman said.

On the second and third spacewalks, astronauts will lubricate the new effector and replace several cameras. The two identical LEEs of Canadarm2 are used to grapple incoming cargo vehicles and payloads and to provide data and telemetry to the rest of the Canadian-built Mobile Base System. Now, efforts will focus on the robotic arm, informally known as Canadarm2.

All the three spacewalks of October are slated to begin at 8:05 am EDT (8:05 pm SST), but it is possible to start earlier if the astronauts are moving ahead of schedule.

"It's more gorgeous and heavenly than I saw when I was out here eight years ago", Bresnik, a spacewalk veteran, marveled as he floated out of the airlock 250 miles above Africa. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba will join Bresnik for the third and final spacewalk.

When the spacewalk begins, Nespoli will head to the robotic workstation, where he will be able to remotely operate Canadarm2 and help the two spacewalkers reach the LEE at the end of the arm. As extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV 1), Bresnik gets to wear the suit with red stripes on it, while Vande Hei (EV 2) will wear a plain white suit. The second spacewalk is scheduled for October 10, and the third for October 18. A spare LEE is located along the side of the station's truss.

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