On Wednesday, January 27, 2021, two NASA astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station (ISS), for the first in a pair of spacewalks to finish installing a European science platform and complete long-term battery upgrade work; the second spacewalk is currently scheduled for February 1. At completion, the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Columbus module will feature two new upgrades and prepare the left truss of the station for future power system upgrades. NASA TV’s live coverage of the spacewalk began on Wednesday at 5:30 a.m. EST (10:30 UTC). Watch here. The spacewalk itself begins at around 7:00 a.m. EST (12:00 UTC), and will last about 6 1/2 hours.
NASA flight engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover, who flew to the space station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft, will conduct both spacewalks, which will be the 233rd and 234th in support of space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades. NASA has set the focus of the spacewalk on completing antenna rigging for the Bartolomeo science payloads platform outside the European Space Agency’s Columbus module, but the duo also will configure a terminal that will enable a high-bandwidth communication link to European ground stations. Then, after completing the upgrades on the Columbus module, Hopkins and Glover will remove a grapple fixture bracket on the far port (left) truss in preparation for future power system upgrades.
Hopkins will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 for the spacewalk. Look for him in a spacesuit with red stripes. Glover will be extravehicular crew member 2, wearing a suit with no stripes. These will be the third and fourth spacewalks in Hopkins’ career, and the first and second for Glover.
One ring to rule them all! It’s like a fantasy up here with magic rings and dragons. pic.twitter.com/Qt3kfvoupz
— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) January 25, 2021
Bottom line: Watch two ISS astronauts spacewalk on January 27, 2021.
Lia Rovira is a Physics graduate and Editorial Assistant of EarthSky, contributing also as a field correspondent with a long-time passion for space exploration that began early in her college career. She started her blog SkyFeed in 2018, which earned a mention in Feedspot’s “Top 50 Space Blogs to Follow," has been published in Smore Magazine, and led her to launch a communications career in tandem with her planetary passion. She currently resides in Southern California with her fiancé and small pug pup.