Two NASA astronauts are taking a spacewalk outside the International Space Station today (Jan. 15), and you can watch all the action live online.
For the first spacewalk of the year, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will spend about 6.5 hours working in the vacuum of space to continue replacing old nickel-hydrogen batteries on the station's solar arrays with new lithium-ion batteries. The spacewalking duo began working to replace these batteries during a spacewalk together on Oct. 18, and that was the first all-woman spacewalk in history.
The spacewalkers are scheduled to emerge from the Quest airlock shortly after switching their spacesuits over to battery power at about 6:50 a.m. EST (1150 GMT). NASA will provide live coverage of the spacewalk beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST (1030 GMT), and you can watch it live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.
Today's spacewalk will be the first of three spacewalks scheduled to take place this month. On Monday (Jan. 20), Meir and Koch will take another spacewalk together to wrap up the battery replacement work.
If these two spacewalks go according to plan, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano will conduct another spacewalk on Jan. 25. For their spacewalk, Morgan and Parmitano will continue ongoing work to upgrade an old dark matter experiment outside the space station called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. They will be completing the installation of a new cooling apparatus, which they started doing in a series of three spacewalks in November and December.
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Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. 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 Space.com 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.
I don't know. Call me old fashioned, but I really don't care that it is the 2nd all-women spacewalk. Are we gonna "acknowledge" the 3rd, 4th, 5th.... 25th, 100th? Seriously. The most qualified individual is performing the requirements of the spacewalk. I am very proud of our astronauts, because of their knowledge and skill, not because of their gender. Lord help us if we start seeing headlines like the "First transgender astronaut spacewalk", or the "First non-binary thing taking a spacewalk". Seriously. They are astronauts because of the skill and training they have completed and are proficient at. Beyond that, they are just humans, just like everyone else here on the planet.Reply