It’s the first of as many as 11 spacewalks the astronauts have taken while working on the Nauka, a multipurpose lab unit that includes additional research space and sleeping quarters. The next spacewalk, expected to last about five hours, is scheduled for September 9.
The Nauka was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 21 and docked on July 29.
During Friday’s spacewalk, Novitsky and Dubrov will connect power, Ethernet and data cables between the Nauka and Russia’s Zvezda servers. The two astronauts will install the handrails and complete any remaining cable routing tasks during their spacewalk on September 9.
For both spacewalks, Nowitzki will be too EVA crew member #1 will wear the Russian Orlan red striped spacesuit, and Dubrov will wear the blue striped spacesuit as EVA member 2.
The second and third spacewalks will be for Dubrov and Novitsky, as well as spacewalks 242 and 243 to support space station assembly, maintenance and modernization.
Meanwhile, the spacewalk scheduled for August 24, which was scheduled to include NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hai and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshied, is scheduled to take place on September 12 — with some changes.
Although no other details about the issue have been shared – other than the fact that it was not a medical emergency – Vande Hei will now provide in-house support during a spacewalk on September 12 as he continues to recover.
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will replace him alongside Hoschede. During the march, Hoshide and Pesquet will install a modification kit that will prepare for future Roll-Out Solar Array installation work.
This will be the first spacewalk to be performed from the airlock in the orbiting laboratory by two of the space station’s international partner astronauts, according to NASA.
A 360-degree virtual reality camera will photograph Hoshide and Pesquet during their spacewalk.
CNN’s Christine Fisher contributed to this report.
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