International Space Station Crew Gearing Up for Three October Spacewalks

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Three astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) will be taking the first of three October spacewalks today.

Two astronauts will spacewalk outside the International Space Station in order to fix the main robotic appendage of the orbiting lab on Wednesday.

On the second and third spacewalks, astronauts will lubricate the new effector and replace several cameras.

This came as no surprise, however, as the two LEEs on Canadarm2 have already exceeded their life expectancy, said Tim Braithwaite, the ISS program liaison for the Canadian Space Agency.

"It's more gorgeous and heavenly than I saw when I was out here eight years ago", Bresnik, a spacewalk veteran, marveled as he floated out of the airlock 250 miles above Africa. Canadarm2 is anchored to the MBS and can be moved along the base's truss by the LEEs. The LEE works like a hand at the end of the robotic arm and grapples incoming cargo spacecraft like SpaceX's Dragon and Orbital ATK's Cygnus.

For identification, Bresnik, call sign EV-1, is using helmet camera 18 and wearing a suit with red stripes.

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NASA TV is streaming the first of three October spacewalks on Thursday morning.

A spare LEE is stored outside on the station's truss.

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences created to enhance student learning, performance and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The next two spacewalks, on October 10 and October 18, will focus on lubricating the joints in the new LEE using a device called a ballscrew lubrication tool, or BLT. While this will be the first-ever spacewalk of the latter, it will mark the third one of Bresnik.

The problem did not impact ISS operations, but the arm's hand, or Latching End Effector (LEE), needs fix.

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