Today’s spacewalk marks the second time this year astronauts will brave the vacuum of space outside the International Space Station (ISS). You can watch the action unfold in the embedded NASA TV stream below.
Live coverage of the spacewalk will see astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch don their bulky spacesuits.
The NASA astronauts last ventured outside of the orbital laboratory on Wednesday, January 15.
The all-female team is tasked with replacing the batteries that store and distribute the space station’s power.
NASA will stream the spacewalk live online from around 10.30am GMT (5.30am EST) today (January 20).
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How to watch the NASA spacewalk live online today:
The NASA spacewalk will be broadcast on NASA TV, through the space agency’s website and YouTube channel.
You can tune in to NASA TV via the embedded video player above, courtesy of NASA.
In addition, NASA’s round-the-clock broadcasts are free to watch on UStream and terrestrial television.
Live coverage will begin 10.30am GMT (5.30am EST) and the spacewalk itself will kick off at 11.50am GMT (6.50am EST) today.
What will NASA’s astronauts do on the spacewalk?
Starting in October 2019, astronauts on the ISS have embarked on a series of spacewalks to upgrade the space station’s batteries.
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Christina Koch, NASA astronaut
The batteries provide the ISS with much-needed power whenever the station flies through the nightside of Earth.
The ISS completes one lap around the planet every 90 minutes, travelling at speeds of more than 17,000mph.
As a result, the ISS spends 45 minutes in direct sunlight and 45 minutes in Earth’s shadow, for 16 sunsets and 16 sunrises every 24 hours.
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The station’s solar arrays collect energy during the brief periods of daylight and the batteries then redistribute that power when in the nightside.
NASA’s Mark Garcia said: “This is the second of two battery replacement spacewalks in five days to complete the upgrade of batteries that store and distribute power generated by the station’s solar arrays on the station’s port truss.
“Meir and Koch will replace nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays.”
The batteries were delivered to the ISS in September last year on board a Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle.
A similar set of battery replacements was last carried out in January 2017.
Before today’s event, Mrs Koch shared some of the behind-the-scenes preparations.
The astronaut tweeted from space photos of her braiding Dr Meir’s hair to fit in their NASA-issue spacesuits.
Mrs Koch tweeted: “Spacewalk time! After all the technical studying, airlock prepping, and conferencing, @Astro_Jessica and I multitask as we do our final briefing.
“Spacewalk hair pro tip: Double braid is the way to go – fits snug under the com cap, out of the helmet seal, and no flyaways!”
Dr Meir also shared a picture taken during her last spacewalk on Wednesday.
The stunning “space selfie” shows the astronaut outside of the ISS with the blue Earth directly below her.
She tweeted: “Spacewalk selfie, visor down. Because our magnificent planet Earth is far prettier than me.
“Tune in tomorrow (NASA TV) as we finish off the job to upgrade the @Space_Station battery channel.”
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