On , NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken will venture outside the ISS to install batteries and a new holster for robotics tools used by Dextre, Canada's space handyman.
Canadarm2 will help astronauts make the swap by holding an external pallet close to the worksite. This will be the 231st spacewalk in Station history.
The installation of this final group of lithium-ion batteries concludes a process begun in to replace the Station's original nickel-hydrogen set.
Mission planners have also scheduled the installation of the Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS), a protective storage unit for robotics tools. The RiTS will be installed on the Canadian Mobile Base System, where it will house a pair of Robotic External Leak Locators (RELL).
Robotics flight controllers have used Dextre, equipped with a RELL "
nose," to sniff out ammonia, successfully pinpointing small leaks in the Station's cooling system. Detecting those leaks robotically avoids risky and time-consuming spacewalks for astronauts. The new RiTS unit will store the RELL tools externally, freeing up space inside the Station and allowing Dextre to deploy the robotic "
noses" more quickly.
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Joshua Kutryk will guide the spacewalkers through their tasks from the Mission Control Center in Houston.
Live coverage will begin at 6 a.m. ET on NASA TV. The spacewalk is expected to begin at 7:35 a.m. ET and last up to 7 hours.