NASA news: Astronauts ready for fifth spacewalk of the year on International Space Station
NASA’s astronauts are tasked with installing a new docking adapter on the International Space Station’s (ISS) Harmony module. NASA has scheduled the spacewalk for Wednesday, August 21 – the same day a Russian Soyuz will blast off the to the ISS. The spacewalk will be carried out by astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew “Drew” Morgan who are part of the ISS Expedition 60/61 crew. Their spacewalk is expected to last approximately six-and-a-half hours to complete.
NASA said on Thursday, August 15: “NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan continue servicing their spacesuits and reviewing procedures for the fifth spacewalk of the year.
“The duo will route cables and configure hardware to install the International Docking Adapter-3 on top of the station’s Harmony module.
“They will exit the station August 21 for the six-and-a-half-hour job that takes place the same day the Soyuz MS-14 lifts off.”
The astronauts’ spacewalk will be broadcast live over NASA TV online and on terrestrial television.
WATCH LIVE: NASA Space Station live stream – Watch the stream online here
The spacewalk will kick off at 1.20pm BST (8.20am EST) from inside of the space station’s Quest airlock.
NASA coverage of the event will begin at 11.30am BST (6.30am EST).
Follow Express.co.uk on the day of the spacewalk to watch the event live online.
NASA said: “The duo will assist in the installation of International Docking Adapter-3 (IDA-3) to Pressurised Mating Adapter-3 on the space-facing side of the station’s Harmony module.
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“IDA-3 will provide a second docking port to the International Space Station to accommodate the future arrivals of Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon commercial crew spacecraft.
“The docking port was launched to the station last month on a SpaceX Dragon on the company’s 18th commercial cargo resupply services mission to the station.
“IDA-2 was installed to the forward end of the Harmony module in the summer of 2016.”
Before the spacewalk can be safely carried out, the ISS has had to readjust its orbit.
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The space station orbits the Earth from a height of approximately 250 miles (402km) in space.
For the purpose of the spacewalk, however, a docked Progress 73 spacecraft fired its engines for two 10-minute burns.
The brief burns took place three hours apart and raised the space station’s altitude.
The adjusted orbit will also accommodate the arrival of Russia’s Soyuz MS-14 next week.