NASA streams first of three October spacewalks

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Two Nasa astronauts wrapped up a successful spacewalk on Thursday (Oct 5) to fix the International Space Station's (ISS') ageing robotic arm, the USA space agency said.

Two astronauts will take a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) today (Oct. 5), kicking off a trifecta of spacewalks set to take place over the next two weeks. The astronauts onboard the mission are Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Mark Van Hei.

On the second and third spacewalks, astronauts will lubricate the new effector and replace several cameras. Described by NASA as an "agile worm" due to its 540 degree rotation, the Canadian-built arm is an big improvement over the original Canadarm, which flew on various Space Shuttles. Now, efforts will focus on the robotic arm, informally known as Canadarm2.

Each spacewalk is scheduled to start at approximately 8:05 am EDT, however, the spacewalks may begin earlier if the crew is running ahead of schedule.

The trio of spacewalks will be Bresnik's third, fourth and fifth, while Vande Hei will experience his first two spacewalks. The LEE works as the "hand" of Canadarm2 and is used to grapple incoming cargo spacecraft.

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The next two spacewalks, on October 10 and October 18, will focus on lubricating the joints in the new LEE using a device called a ballscrew lubrication tool, or BLT. The arm also can mount itself atop a mobile transporter that runs on rails along the front side of the station's solar power truss to move the arm to various work sites.

For identification, Bresnik, call sign EV-1, is using helmet camera 18 and wearing a suit with red stripes.

When the spacewalk begins, Nespoli will head to the robotic workstation, where he will be able to remotely operate Canadarm2 and help the two spacewalkers reach the LEE at the end of the arm.

The three spacewalks have been scheduled with the objective of tinkering around the ISS. Vande Hei, EV-2, is wearing an unmarked suit and is using helmetcam 20.

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