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ISS Crew Prepares For 2017 Spacewalk, ESA Astronaut Tomas Pesquet To Perform Spacewalk Duty For The First Time

Jan 06, 2017 09:41 AM EST
Space Shuttle Endeavour's Mission To The International Space Station
A total of four astronauts out of the six currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will perform a series of spacewalks this month. The spacewalks will be conducted on Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 respectively.
(Photo : NASA via Getty Images))

One of the most crucial parts of being an astronaut aboard the ISS is to keep the workplace safe as security of the space station is of utmost importance.

To keep the workplace habitable, constant repairs and maintenance have to be conducted. To do that, astronauts will have to risk their lives and step out of the ISS to perform "spacewalk" duties. However, it is not as easy at it may seem, as thorough preparations is vital for the success of the task at hand.

The Expedition 50 crew will be performing a series of spacewalks this month with the first one to occur this Jan. 6. The duty will last for 6.5 hours where NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson, the oldest woman to reach space, and Shane Kimbrough will replace some parts of the station's power gear. This is performed in accordance with the power maintenance of the space station. The pair is expected to walk near the solar array segment of the ISS, according to NASA.

But the workload is not entirely dependent on the astronauts. Robotics controllers who already removed the nickel-hydrogen batteries over the holidays already started the job. The batteries were replaced with lithium-ion batteries on the starboard-4 truss, according to another NASA report.

Expedition 50 and ISS newest member ESA astronaut Tomas Pesquet and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy will assist the spacewalkers from the station's control. Pesquet, who is serving his first ISS duty, will also conduct his first spacewalk on Jan. 13.

"Wearing a spacesuit would put a smile on your face too! We did a final check last week before the upcoming spacewalks on 6 & 13/01," Pesquet said on a Tweet along with a photo of him and Kimbrough wearing their respective spacesuits.

Being the youngest, and admittedly the most playful crew onboard, Pesquet could not contain his enthusiasm on his first spacewalk on his first mission to the ISS.

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