Astronauts Finalize Preps Before Wednesday’s Battery Spacewalk

Expedition 63 crewmates assists spacewalkers
Spacewalkers Bob Behnken (far left) and Chris Cassidy (far right) are suited up with assistance from Expedition 63 Flight Engineers (middle left) Doug Hurley and Ivan Vagner (middle right) ahead of their June 26 spacewalk.

The Expedition 63 crew is set for its second spacewalk on Wednesday at 7:35 a.m. EDT to continue upgrading International Space Station power systems.

Commander Chris Cassidy will lead the spacewalk and exit the Quest airlock in the U.S. spacesuit with the red stripes. He’ll be followed by Flight Engineer Bob Behnken in his spacesuit with no stripes.

Both astronauts are being joined today by Flight Engineer Doug Hurley as they finalize procedure reviews, organize tools and perform suit leak checks before tomorrow’s spacewalk. Hurley will be on duty helping the spacewalkers in and out their spacesuits and monitoring the excursion. Roscosmos cosmonaut Ivan Vagner will assist the NASA trio on Wednesday.

Cassidy and Behnken have one more aging nickel-hydrogen battery to remove from the Starboard-6 truss structure and place into an external pallet. They will replace it with a new lithium-ion battery that will channel power collected from the station’s main solar arrays. After that work, the duo will move on and route power and ethernet cables before going back inside the orbiting lab to wrap up their spacewalk.

NASA TV starts its live coverage of Wednesday’s spacewalk, planned to last about six-and-a-half hours, at 6 a.m. Station managers will assess the results of the battery swaps before scheduling more power upgrade spacewalks planned for later this month.