NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and Japan's Koichi Wakata will make the second spacewalk of 2023 on Thursday morning (Feb. 2), and you can watch the action live.
The two International Space Station (ISS) astronauts are scheduled to switch their spacesuits to battery power at 8:15 a.m. EST (1315 GMT) on Thursday. They'll exit the station's Quest airlock shortly thereafter, kicking off a roughly seven-hour spacewalk.
Watch the extravehicular activity live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA, or directly via the agency. Coverage will start Thursday at 6:45 a.m. EST (1145 GMT).
Mann and Wakata will make their way to the starboard part of the orbiting lab's truss structure, a series of segments that serve as attachment points for solar arrays, heat radiators and external payloads on the ISS.
"Once they arrive at the Starboard-4 truss, they will complete a modification kit installation job they began on Jan. 20 to prepare the station for its next roll-out solar array," NASA officials wrote in a blog post on Wednesday (Feb. 1).
To date, spacewalking astronauts have installed four out of six of these new arrays, which are known as iROSAs ("ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays"). Getting all six up and running will boost the station's power supply by 20% to 30%, NASA officials have said. (iROSAs are augmenting, not replacing, the current ISS solar panel system.)
As the Wednesday blog post noted, Mann and Wakata got some iROSA prep work done during a spacewalk on Jan. 20. However, the duo ran into several minor issues that day and weren't able to finish assembling an iROSA mounting platform as planned.
The two astronauts are part of SpaceX's Crew-5 mission for NASA, which arrived at the ISS in October 2022. Two other spaceflyers are part of that mission as well: NASA's Josh Cassada and Anna Kikina, of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
A total of seven astronauts are currently living aboard the ISS. The Crew-5 quartet are joined in orbit by NASA's Frank Rubio and cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin.
This trio came to the station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in September 2022 and were scheduled to depart next month. However, they're now likely to remain aboard the ISS for a full year, thanks to an apparent micrometeoroid strike in December that rendered their Soyuz unfit to carry them back to Earth.
Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.