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Three Times the Charm—Three Spacewalks Coming Up

March 20, 2019

Four astronauts are preparing for their first spacewalks outside the International Space Station, scheduled for March 22, March 29 and April 8. The spacewalks will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Live coverage of all three spacewalks will begin at 5:30 a.m. CDT on the respective day of the spacewalk. Designated as U.S. spacewalks 52, 53 and 54, each is expected to last about six-and-a-half hours. The first spacewalk is scheduled to start at 7:05 a.m., the second at 7:20 a.m. and the third at 7:05 a.m.

Expedition 59 Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Anne McClain of NASA are set to venture outside the station’s Quest airlock for the March 22 spacewalk to replace nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays. The batteries were transported to the station in September aboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle. The spacewalking work continues the overall upgrade of the station’s power system that began with similar battery replacement during spacewalks in January 2017.

Animation for EVA spacewalk 52, which takes place March 22.

McClain and Flight Engineer Christina Koch are scheduled to venture outside on the March 29 spacewalk to work on a second set of battery replacements on a different power channel in the same area of the station. This would be the first-ever spacewalk with all-female spacewalkers. 

Animation for EVA 53, which takes place March 29.

Hague and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency are scheduled to conduct the April 8 spacewalk to lay out jumper cables between the Unity module and the S0 truss at the midpoint of the station’s backbone. This work will establish a redundant path of power to the Canadian-built robotic arm, known as Canadarm2. They also will install cables to provide for more expansive wireless communications coverage outside the orbital complex, as well as for enhanced hardwired computer network capability.

Spacewalk assignments may be adjusted if the flight operations team deems it necessary. These will be the 214th, 215th and 216th spacewalks in the history of International Space Station assembly and maintenance.

How to Watch:

JSC team members can view the events on JSC Cable TV channel 4-1. Those with wired computer network connections can watch using the JSC EZTV IP Network TV System on channel 4541 (HD). Please note: EZTV currently requires using Internet Explorer on a Windows PC or Safari on a Mac. Mobile devices, Wi-Fi, VPN or connections from other centers are currently not supported by EZTV. Questions? Visit the FAQ site. 

If you experience technical difficulties with the viewing systems, contact the IRD Customer Support Center at 281-244-6367.

Astronauts (from left) Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques are pictured in between a pair of spacesuits that are stowed and serviced inside the Quest airlock, where U.S. spacewalks are staged. Image Credit: NASA