NASA Astronauts to Take First Spacewalk Outside Space Station Today: How to Watch

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: 3DSculptor

Two NASA astronauts are set to make significant history today. On Nov. 15, the pair suited up and floated outside the International Space Station to get the orbiting lab ready for new solar wings. In addition, you can catch it live to see how they’re making progress.

According to reports, astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio will take what could be the most significant step of their lives when they step outside the space station today. The spacewalk will be the first of three spacewalks to put in the new solar arrays.

For the astronauts, it will mark the first spacewalk of their careers. NASA broadcast the International Space Station spacewalk online beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET.

Cassada and Rubio will work seven hours outside the space station if all goes as planned.

Their main goal is to install a mounting bracket on the starboard side of the station’s backbone-like main truss that will be the foundation for a new International Space Station Rollout Solar Array ((iROSAs.) .) The solar panel is designed to roll out like a window shade to create power.

“These will be the third and fourth iROSAs out of a total of six planned for installation,” NASA wrote in a statement. “The iROSAs will increase power generation capability by up to 30%, increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.”

Last week, the bracket and other tools for the spacewalk arrived at the space station on a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship that launched on Nov. 7. The iRosa solar arrays will launch themselves to the station Nov. 21 on a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship, per NASA.

NASA astronauts take historic spacewalk to install power-generating brackets

Once the mounting bracket is put in place, NASA astronauts will perform additional spacewalks on Nov. 28 and Dec. 1 to complete the installation of iRosa solar arrays for the station’s 3A and 4A power channels.

In addition, Cassada and Rubio are just a few of the station astronauts going out for a spacewalk this week.

This week, on Thursday, Nov. 17, Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin will go out for their own spacewalks to work on the exterior of the station’s Russian-built Nauka laboratory module.

The Russian cosmonauts will spend nearly seven hours working to prepare a radiator on the station’s Rassvet module for a move to the Nauka lab.

The cosmonaut’s spacewalk will also be webcast live online thanks to NASA, beginning at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday.

Meanwhile, NASA hopes to see its first flight test of its new 32-story-tall Artemis rocket soon. The agency hopes the new rocket will carry astronauts back to the moon in just a few years.

However, the space agency has struggled to get the rocket off the ground. Lift-off is currently set for a two-hour window that opens at 1:04 a.m. ET, Wednesday, Nov. 16.