Radio amateurs on the International Space Station (ISS) crew will conduct two extra-vehicular activities — EVAs, or spacewalks — in January to upgrade the orbiting outpost’s electrical power system. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD, of NASA will perform the first spacewalk on January 6, with the work continuing a week later with Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG, of ESA.
During the spacewalks, the astronauts will perform a complex upgrade to the ISS power system. Crew members will install adapter plates and hook up six new lithium-ion batteries delivered to the station in December. Prior to each spacewalk, the new batteries will be robotically extracted from a pallet to replace 12 older nickel-hydrogen batteries.
For anyone keeping track, these will be the 196th and 197th spacewalks in support of space station assembly and maintenance. This will be Kimbrough’s third and fourth EVAs of his career, while Whitson’s will be her seventh, matching the record of Suni Williams, KD5PLB, for the most spacewalks by a female crew member. Pesquet will be making the first spacewalk of his career. NASA TV will stream the activities.