Astronauts Taking a Spacewalk at the Space Station Today: Watch It Live

Mark Vande Hei space selfie
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei snapped this selfie outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk on Jan. 23. (Image credit: Mark Vande Hei/NASA)

Two astronauts will head outside the International Space Station (ISS) for a spacewalk today (Feb. 16), and you can watch their entire excursion live online. 

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai will emerge from the Quest airlock at 7:10 a.m. EST (1210 GMT) and will spend about 6.5 hours working outside the station. You can watch live coverage of the spacewalk here on beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST (1030 GMT), courtesy of NASA TV. 

The spacewalkers will relocate two degraded latching end effectors (LEEs), or the "hands" at each end of a 58-foot (18 meters) robotic arm known as Canadarm2. Both of Canadarm2's aging LEEs were replaced during two spacewalks, on Oct. 5 and Jan. 23. [In Photos: The Space Station Spacewalks of Expedition 54]

One of the units, LEE-A, will be brought inside the Quest airlock, where it will eventually return to Earth inside a SpaceX Dragon cargo craft "to be refurbished and relaunched to the orbiting laboratory as a spare," NASA officials said in a statement

Astronaut Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency tries on a pair of spacesuit sleeves inside the Quest airlock of the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA)

The other unit, LEE-B, will stay at the ISS in a long-term storage location. "That LEE will be available as a spare part on the Mobile Base System, which is used to move the arm and astronauts along the station's truss structure," NASA officials said.

Today's spacewalk was originally planned for Jan. 29, but NASA postponed it twice. First, ground controllers needed time to repair a software glitch on the newly replaced LEE. They rescheduled the spacewalk for Thursday (Feb. 15), but a two-day delay in the launch of a Russian cargo resupply mission this week delayed the spacewalk by one more day. The Progress 69 cargo ship arrived at the station Thursday morning. 

Email Hanneke Weitering at or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.