Preparation for Consecutive Spacewalks Underway as ISS Crew Engages in Varied Tasks

by Tatsuya Nakamura
8 comments
Expedition 70 Spacewalk Preparations

Photographed against the backdrop of September’s Harvest Moon, the International Space Station (ISS) is the focus of ongoing scientific endeavors. Credit: NASA

The crew members of Expedition 70 are in the process of preparing for two upcoming spacewalks aimed at scientific research and maintenance tasks outside the International Space Station. In addition to these preparations, the astronauts are engaged in activities such as piloting simulations, Earth observation, and treadmill exercises today.

Scheduled to commence at 10 a.m. EST on October 12, NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and Andreas Mogensen from the European Space Agency (ESA) are gearing up for their inaugural spacewalk. The astronauts will employ specialized instruments to gather microbial samples from designated regions on the exterior of the space station. The objective is to investigate the kinds of microbes that could potentially survive in the extreme conditions of outer space.

Inside the Quest airlock, astronauts Andreas Mogensen from the ESA and Loral O’Hara from NASA are attending to their spacesuits. Prior to their planned spacewalk on October 12, the two astronauts alternated in cleansing the suits’ cooling systems. The intent is to gather microbial samples from particular zones outside the ISS, as scientists seek to understand the resilience of microbes in space’s inhospitable conditions. Credit: NASA

Broadcasting and Additional Support Functions

NASA TV has plans to televise both an initial preview briefing and the forthcoming spacewalks. Slated for 1 p.m. EDT on Friday, the preliminary briefing will outline the details of the October 12 spacewalk and another scheduled for October 20 involving O’Hara and fellow NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli. The broadcast of the October 12 spacewalk is set to start at 8:30 a.m.

Today, O’Hara and Mogensen performed fit tests on their spacesuits, aided by Moghbeli and Satoshi Furukawa from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The pair assessed the suits’ communication features with ground control and rehearsed the various tools and procedures to be used in the upcoming microbe-sampling mission. Moghbeli and Furukawa will facilitate the astronauts in donning and doffing their spacesuits and oversee their extravehicular activities next week.

Activities Undertaken by Roscosmos Engineers

The Roscosmos flight engineers divided their day between an assortment of space science and upkeep duties. Experienced cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko fixed sensors to himself to gauge his reactions while simulating a spacecraft docking on a computer. This study is designed to ensure ongoing familiarity with spacecraft control and prepare crews for future missions. Novice cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov focused his camera lens on Earth to capture images of forests, aiming to examine the impact of both natural occurrences and human activities.

Kononenko later collaborated with Nikolai Chub, another rookie cosmonaut, to perform scheduled maintenance on a treadmill situated in the Zvezda service module. Additionally, Chub and Borisov engaged in miscellaneous electronic and life-support maintenance tasks within the orbital lab’s Roscosmos section.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Expedition 70 Spacewalk Preparations

What is the main focus of Expedition 70’s upcoming activities?

The main focus of Expedition 70’s upcoming activities is the preparation for two spacewalks that are aimed at scientific research and maintenance tasks outside the International Space Station (ISS).

Who are the astronauts participating in the first scheduled spacewalk?

NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and Andreas Mogensen from the European Space Agency (ESA) are gearing up for their inaugural spacewalk scheduled for October 12.

What specific tasks will the astronauts perform during the spacewalk?

The astronauts will employ specialized instruments to gather microbial samples from designated regions on the exterior of the ISS. The objective is to investigate the kinds of microbes that could potentially survive in the extreme conditions of outer space.

Will the spacewalk activities be broadcasted?

Yes, NASA TV plans to televise both an initial preview briefing and the forthcoming spacewalks. The preliminary briefing is slated for 1 p.m. EDT on Friday, and the broadcast of the October 12 spacewalk is set to start at 8:30 a.m.

Who will assist the spacewalking astronauts?

Jasmin Moghbeli from NASA and Satoshi Furukawa from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will assist the astronauts in donning and doffing their spacesuits and will oversee their extravehicular activities.

What are Roscosmos engineers doing during this period?

The Roscosmos flight engineers are engaged in a variety of space science and maintenance activities. They are participating in piloting simulations, observing Earth, and performing scheduled maintenance, including work on a treadmill.

What is the purpose of the scientific study involving microbial samples?

The scientific study aims to understand the resilience and types of microbes that may be able to survive in the harsh environmental conditions of outer space.

What other activities are the crew members involved in apart from preparing for the spacewalks?

In addition to spacewalk preparations, the astronauts are engaged in activities such as piloting simulations, Earth observation, and treadmill exercises.

More about Expedition 70 Spacewalk Preparations

  • Expedition 70 Overview
  • International Space Station Activities
  • NASA’s Official Spacewalk Information
  • European Space Agency’s Missions
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Activities
  • Roscosmos Official Website
  • NASA TV Broadcasting Schedule

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8 comments

Traveler October 5, 2023 - 7:28 am

Scheduled treadmill maintenance in space? Now that’s something you don’t hear everyday haha.

Reply
FinancialAnalyst October 5, 2023 - 8:18 am

Cost of these space missions are astronomical. But if it advances our understanding of life beyond earth, then I guess it’s money well spent.

Reply
ScienceFan101 October 5, 2023 - 2:56 pm

The astronauts are multitasking like pros. Piloting, maintenance and scientific research all in one mission? Hats off!

Reply
EarthWatcher October 5, 2023 - 10:33 pm

The bit about Roscosmos engineers photographing Earth caught my eye. Wonder what they’re exactly looking for.

Reply
CuriousJane October 5, 2023 - 11:37 pm

Who else is excited about the ESA and NASA collaboration? Seems like international partnerships are the way forward in space exploration.

Reply
EcoWarrior October 6, 2023 - 3:57 am

They’re photographing forests to monitor human activity impact? So not just looking outward but also keeping an eye on Earth. good job.

Reply
SpaceGeek87 October 6, 2023 - 6:28 am

so they’re collecting microbes from outer space? that’s like sci-fi becoming reality, man.

Reply
JohnDoe42 October 6, 2023 - 6:38 am

Wow, these guys are really pushing the boundaries of science and tech. Can’t wait to watch the spacewalk live on NASA TV. This is history in making folks!

Reply

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