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NASA Announces Changes to Spacewalk Schedule, First All-Female Spacewalk

NASA is hosting a media teleconference at 4:30 p.m. EDT today to discuss this week’s first all-female spacewalk at the International Space Station. Audio of the teleconference will stream live on the agency’s website.

Kenny Todd, manager of International Space Station Operations Integration, and Megan McArthur, deputy chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office, will talk to and take questions from media about recent changes to the agency’s spacewalk schedule and moving forward with efforts to upgrade the space station’s power system.

To participate in today’s teleconference, media must call 281-483-5111 by 4:20 p.m. for dial-in information.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir

Credits: NASA

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will venture outside the space station at 7:50 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 or Friday, Oct. 18. Live coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Space station managers have postponed three spacewalks previously scheduled for this and next week to install new batteries in order to first replace a faulty battery charge/discharge unit (BCDU). The BCDU failed to activate following the Oct. 11 installation of new lithium-ion batteries on the space station’s truss. The three spacewalks previously planned to continue the installation of additional lithium-ion batteries will be rescheduled.

The BCDU failure has not impacted station operations, safety of the crew, or the ongoing experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory, many in preparation for future human missions to the Moon and Mars. The station’s overall power supply, which is fed by four sets of batteries and solar arrays, remains sufficient for all operations. However, the faulty power unit does prevent a set of batteries installed earlier this month from providing increased station power.

The BCDU’s regulate the amount of charge put into the batteries that collect energy from the station’s solar arrays to power station systems during periods when the station orbits during nighttime passes around Earth. Two other charge/discharge units on the affected 2B power channel did activate as planned and are providing power to station systems.

This will be Koch’s fourth spacewalk and Meir’s first. Watch video of the two discussing the possibility of conducting a spacewalk together at:

https://youtu.be/2o4XMOj2zzY?t=1113

Follow Koch on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow Meir on Twitter and Instagram.

Learn more about International Space Station research, operations, and its crew at:

https://www.nasa.gov/station

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