Students at St. Mary Cathedral School in Gaylord, Michigan, will speak with NASA astronauts living, working and doing research aboard the International Space Station at 11 a.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 6.
The first spacewalk will focus on the removal and replacement of one of the Canadarm2's latching end effectors (LEE). For the third spacewalk, Acaba will join Bresnik instead. Bresnik and Vande Hei will conduct the second spacewalk together. The LEEs, located at either end of the arm, also provide other crucial data through complex electronics, camera and sensors, NASA officials said, but the arm was launched over 15 years ago and is in need of fix.
The two latching mechanisms, one on each end of the arm, have been used almost 400 times.
For identification, Bresnik, call sign EV-1, is using helmet camera 18 and wearing a suit with red stripes. The effectors serve as a grappling mechanism, allowing the space stations arm to receive and manipulate visiting cargo vehicles and payloads. Canadarm2 is anchored to the MBS and can be moved along the base's truss by the LEEs.
The Canadarm 2 measures 57.7 feet long, weighs almost 4,000 pounds, has seven joints and, in the weightless environment of low-Earth orbit, can move large spacecraft and modules from one point to another.
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But that doesn't mean it doesn't experience wear and tear.
All the three spacewalks of October are slated to begin at 8:05 am EDT (8:05 pm SST), but it is possible to start earlier if the astronauts are moving ahead of schedule.
During one or more spacewalks early next year, the arm's LEE-B grappler will be removed and replaced with a spare now mounted on an external storage platform.
This will be Randy Bresnik's third spacewalk and will mark Van Hei's debut. The second spacewalk is scheduled for October 10, and the third for October 18.
Similar to the International Space Station, this new space station will be open to to astronauts and cosmonauts globally.
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