Michigan Students to Speak with NASA Astronauts on Space Station

In this frame from NASA TV Astronauts Mark Vande Hei left and Randy Bresnik work on the International Space Station on Thursday Oct. 5 2017. The astronauts went out on a spacewalk to give the International Space Station’s big robot arm a new han

For Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik, this is his second mission to the International Space Station.

Students at St. Mary Cathedral School in Gaylord, Michigan, will speak with NASA astronauts living, working and doing research aboard the International Space Station at 11 a.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 6.

Bresnik, on his third walk, and Vande Hei, on his first, are tasked with fixing the orbiting lab's crucial robotic arm, called the Canadarm2, according to NASA officials.

Five days from now, on October 10th, Bresnik and Vande Hei will do another spacewalk to lubricate the new LEE and then replace a camera on the outside of the station.

Canadarm2, the Canadian robotic arm is one of the essential tools on the ISS.

A few moments later, Vande Hei, making his first spacewalk, made his way outside. Joe Acaba arrived at the space station September 12 for his third mission to space. Another five days later, October 15th, Bresnik will be joined by NASA astronaut Joe Acaba for a third spacewalk on to do more lubrication and another camera replacement. The LEEs feature internal snares that rotate and tighten to lock onto grapple fixtures while latches engage to supply power, data and additional rigidity. Engineers attribute the recent trouble to wear and tear.

A spare LEE is stored outside on the station's truss.

In the near term, two more spacewalks are planned October 10 and 18 to lubricate the newly attached LEE-A fitting, to replace two cameras with degraded color and to carry out other routine maintenance.

The three spacewalks have been scheduled with the goal of tinkering around the ISS.

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

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