Two astronauts who are aboard the International Space Station will walk in space today (May 16) outside the ISS. It is possible to watch the 6.5-hour spacewalk or what is known as the extravehicular activity online as well. The flight engineers of expedition 55 Drew Feustel, as well as Ricky Arnold, will come out of the station from the Quest airlock at about 8:10 am EDT. NASA is all set to make live coverage of the entire process starting around about 6:30 m EDT starting from the astronauts putting up their spacesuits and making the necessary arrangements.
The main aim for this spacewalk would be to upgrade the cooling system hardware of the station also they will try to install new communication equipment which will enhance the communication frequency level for the upcoming commercial crew spaceflights.
At the very beginning, they will be separating a component known as the Pump Flow Control Subassembly from the location of the spare parts to a position that will be within reach of the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator or popularly known as the “Dextre.” It is a two-armed robot outside the station. On the other hand, the astronauts will shift a failed subassembly and move it to the spare parts zone. The moment the spacewalk is over the flight controllers who are present on the Earth will take the help of the robotic arm of Canadarm2 and also the robotic arm of Dextre and thereby install the brand new cooling system subassembly on the port-side truss of the ISS to check and monitoring.
If sufficient time remains for the spacewalkers, then they would go for the repairing of the camera system. It is fitted on the Destiny laboratory and will also try for the enhancement of the communication receiver for the betterment of the future commercial vehicles such as the Block 5 of the SpaceX or the Boeing’s CST-100 and so on.
Feustel will be making this spacewalk for the eighth time in his career while Arnold will be spacewalking for the fourth time in his career. Overall it is the 210th time that spacewalking is being conducted for maintenance, repairs for the ISS since the orbiting complex was first placed in the year of 1998. This will be the second time both of these astronauts are conducting a spacewalk together. Previously they did a spacewalk in the month of March in this year.