Watch NASA Astronauts complete final Spacewalk before returning aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon

by Evelyn Arevalo July 19, 2020

Watch NASA Astronauts complete final Spacewalk before returning aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon

Featured Image Source: NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy 

SpaceX’s first crewed flight to the International Space Station (ISS) launched NASA Astronauts Robert ‘Bob’ Behnken and Douglas ‘Doug’ Hurley aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft. The successful mission, referred to as Demo-2, reignited the pride America felt when it launched crewed missions from the United States almost a decade ago. The astronauts joined ISS Commander Chris Cassidy as members of Expedition 63. On July 17, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced:

“We're targeting an August 1 departure of SpaceX's Dragon Endeavour spacecraft from the Space Station to bring Astronaut Behnken and Hurley home after their historic Launch America mission. Splashdown is targeted for August 2. Weather will drive the actual date. Stay tuned.”

NASA plans to undock the spacecraft from the station’s Harmony module at around 8:00 p.m. EDT. on August 1st, to initiate a return voyage. Before their return, the astronauts will complete one more spacewalk to upgrade the space station’s solar power system.

On Thursday, July 16 astronauts Cassidy and Behnken concluded a 6-hour spacewalk, one hour ahead of time. “The two NASA astronauts completed all the work to replace batteries that provide power for the station’s solar arrays on the starboard truss of the complex. The new batteries provide an improved and more efficient power capacity for operations,” the agency detailed in a press release. “The spacewalkers removed six aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for the second of two power channels for the starboard 6 (S6) truss, installed three new lithium-ion batteries, and installed the three associated adapter plates that are used to complete the power circuit to the new batteries.” Mission control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas reported that all three new batteries are working optimally.



During the spacewalk, Astronaut Cassidy took a moment to thank everyone who is helping battle the Coronavirus outbreak [Covid-19] around Earth. In zero gravity with Earth as a beautiful backdrop, he recorded a selfie video holding a small sign with a thank you message on his spacesuit’s wrist band that read – “Frontline Workers around the world. THANK YOU.” Later, Cassidy shared the video, “Much gratitude to those heroes around the world who are battling on the frontlines of the pandemic. Your selflessness will be forever appreciated. Thank you,” he wrote via Twitter.



On Tuesday, July 21, Behnken and Cassidy are scheduled to conduct a final spacewalk before Behnken and Hurley return aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. Hurley will assist the astronaut’s suit-up, open the station's hatch, as well as oversee the spacewalk tasks to assist with the station’s robotic arm. During Tuesday’s spacewalk the astronauts are tasked with removing two lifting fixtures used for ground processing of the station’s solar arrays prior to their launch. “They’ll also begin preparing the Tranquility module for the installation of a commercial airlock provided by NanoRacks and scheduled to arrive on a SpaceX cargo flight later this year. The airlock will be used to deploy commercial and government-sponsored experiments into space,” NASA stated. You can watch the spacewalk live on July 21 starting at 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time, in the video below. The spacewalk is scheduled for begin at 7:35 a.m. EDT and will last around 7 hours.





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