NASA astronauts step outside the ISS for the 237 spacewalk

Two NASA astronauts conducted the 237 spacewalk on the exterior of the ISS today. The astronauts were Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins, who went outside on the fifth spacewalk of 2021 to continue carrying out upgrades on space station systems. The two astronauts conducted a 6.5-hour spacewalk to continue upgrading the orbiting laboratory’s communications and cooling systems.

The astronauts had been expected to exit the Quest airlock about 7:30 AM ET for the mission, expected to last about six and half hours. However, they were running slightly behind schedule. Glover and Hopkins will work on the port truss of the station, the backbone of the ISS. They will vent early ammonia system jumper lines and relocate one of the lines near the Quest airlock to reconnect the jumper cable to the station’s cooling system, thereby increasing its efficiency.

Also on the schedule for the mission is to connect cables for the Bartolomeo platform at the science laboratory Parking Position Interface, which is an external payload platform. That work is a continuation of work that happened on January 27 to replace the cable for an amateur radio system.

Also on the schedule is the replacement of a wireless antenna assembly on the Unity connection module. That module connects the Russian and US segments of the space station. The astronauts will also install a “stiffener” on the airlock thermal cover and route cables to provide ethernet capability for two HD cameras on the port trusts.

The spacewalk marks the 237th conducted aboard the ISS and is the fourth spacewalk for Glover and the fifth spacewalk for Hopkins. While outside the ISS, Hopkins is wearing an HD camera to provide clear views of the Columbus module connectors.

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