This Thursday, September 9, two Russian cosmonauts will venture outside the International Space Station (ISS) to continue preparing the newly arrived Nauka module for science operations. You can watch along at home as they step out of the station and work on the new module, hooking it up to existing systems so it can be integrated into the rest of the station. We’ve got the details on how to watch below.
What to expect from the spacewalk
The new Russian module for the ISS, Nauka, was launched this summer and, after a dramatic incident in which the module’s thrusters fired unexpectedly, was attached to the station with no further problems. In August, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet gave a video tour of the new module if you’d like to see the view from the inside.
However, installing a new module to the space station isn’t as simple as lining it up and plugging it in. There are many complex steps to getting the module fully integrated into the space station and ready to begin its operations. So Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov performed a spacewalk to begin integrating the module last week, in what is expected to be the first of up to 11 spacewalks required.
This week, the pair will perform their second spacewalk, continuing with the task of hooking up ethernet and data cables from the other modules to Nauka and installing handrails on the exterior of Nauka to make moving around it easier.
To tell the two apart during the spacewalk, they’ll be wearing different spacesuits as described by NASA: “Novitskiy, who is designated as extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), will wear the Russian Orlan spacesuit with the red stripes. Dubrov will wear the spacesuit with the blue stripes as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2). These will be the second and third spacewalks for both cosmonauts; the 242nd and 243rd spacewalks in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades; and the 10th and 11th spacewalks at the station in 2021.”
How to watch the spacewalk
NASA will stream the spacewalk on NASA TV, which you can watch either using the video embedded near the top of this page or by heading to NASA TV’s website.
Coverage begins on Thursday, September 9 at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT), with the spacewalk itself scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT). The spacewalk is scheduled to run for around five hours.