On Friday, Russian cosmonauts will attempt a second go at a spacewalk to continue the installation of Europe’s Robotic Arm outside the International Space Station. The first attempt ended prematurely owing to a spacesuit battery glitch.
The spacewalk is scheduled for Friday at 9:20 a.m. EST and will be aired live on NASA TV. Coverage will begin at 9 a.m. EST on NASA TV’s media channel, and you can tune into the microgravity action at 10:30 a.m. EST on NASA’s Youtube Channel, the NASA app, as well as the agency’s website, or by watching the feeds below. NASA is holding an Artemis 1 press conference at 9:00, hence the disrupted coverage.
Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev last ventured outside the ISS on August 17 to continue setting up the European Robotic Arm. About two hours in, Artemyev was forced to go back into the airlock after the battery pack that powers his spacesuit started showing voltage fluctuations. The spacesuit malfunction cut the spacewalk short, with some tasks still remaining.
Before the spacewalk ended, the cosmonauts completed the installation of a pair of cameras on the arm and removed parts attached to the arm’s end effector. On Friday, Artemyev and Matveev will work outside the station’s space-facing Poisk module to relocate an external control panel for the arm from one operating area to another and test a strengthening mechanism on the arm that will be used to facilitate the grasping of payloads, according to NASA.
It’s not clear whether Artemyev will be rocking the same spacesuit as the one he wore during the earlier spacewalk, or how the space agency resolved the issue. Roscosmos did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
The 37-foot-long (11.2-meter-long) arm, which launched to space in July 2021, is designed to be able to anchor itself to the space station and walk back and forth by moving one hand over the other. The giant arm will mainly be used to transport payloads to the interior of the station and even grab astronauts themselves and relocate them during spacewalks. Although it’s not fully installed yet, the robotic arm recently completed its first transfer of a payload outside the ISS.