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Astronauts performing spacewalk at International Space Station

Astronauts performing spacewalk at International Space Station

On Thursday, October 5, two NASA astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) - Experdition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Mark Van Hei - will venture outside the orbiting laboratory to put things in order.

NASA has scheduled three spacewalks at the International Space Station this month to perform station maintenance.

Bresnik and Acaba will participate in three spacewalks this month to service the space station's robotic arm and install new external cameras. Described by NASA as an "agile worm" due to its 540 degree rotation, the Canadian-built arm is an huge improvement over the original Canadarm, which flew on various Space Shuttles.

They duo have been assigned to revolve around getting the Canadian robotic arm in good shape for doing work outside ISS. To tell the two apart during the webcast, look for the red stripes on Bresnik's suit. The LEEs, located at either end of the arm, also provide other crucial data through complex electronics, camera and sensors, NASA officials said, but the arm was launched over 15 years ago and is in need of fix. Vande Hei, EV-2, is wearing an unmarked suit and is using helmetcam 20. This bundle of latches - more than a metre long - also attaches to grapple fixtures outside the space station. In the early 2000s, Canadarm2 was used to help move and install large pieces of equipment. The Canadarm2 has started experiencing some wear and tear.

They replaced one of two Latching End Effectors (LEE) which had lost the ability to grip effectively, said the U.S. space agency.

The station has a spare LEE stored outside the ISS, which the astronauts retrieved to make the fix.

Today's spacewalk marks the third of Bresnik's career and the first for Vande Hei. The second spacewalk is scheduled for October 10, and the third for October 18.

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