EDITOR’S NOTE: As of Sept. 26, NASA is rescheduling two spacewalks to complete the installation of new batteries and adapter plates arriving on HTV-7, as well as the spacewalk preview media briefing, due to the delay of the cargo craft launch. New times and dates will be announced as soon as these activities are rescheduled.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sept. 20, this advisory was updated to reflect a new target launch date and time for the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle cargo spacecraft launch to the International Space Station.

Experts from NASA will preview two upcoming spacewalks outside the International Space Station to continue upgrades to the orbiting laboratory’s power system in a briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 27, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The briefing date changed because of the delayed launch of a Japanese cargo spacecraft to the space station.

Live coverage of the briefing will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Media wishing to participate in the briefing in person must request credentials from the Johnson newsroom no later than 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26. Media interested in participating by phone must contact the newsroom by 1:45 p.m. Sept. 27.

Participants in the briefing are:

  • Kenneth Todd, International Space Station manager for Operations and Integration
  • Mary Lawrence, spacewalk flight director
  • Jaclyn Kagey, lead spacewalk officer

The equipment to be installed will be delivered on a Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle cargo craft, which now is targeted for launch at 1:52 p.m. EDT Saturday, Sept. 22. Live NASA Television coverage begins at 1:30 p.m.

The delivered equipment installation work on the space station actually will begin on Earth, when ground controllers use the station’s robotic arm to replace old nickel-hydrogen batteries on the port truss of the complex with six new lithium-ion batteries.

Station Commander Drew Feustel of NASA and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) will venture outside the Quest airlock Sunday, Sept. 30, to install the adapter plates for the new batteries, completing the upgrades to two station power channels.

With this spacewalk – the 10th of his career – Feustel will tie former astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria for most spacewalks by a U.S. astronaut, and is expected to surpass him for overall spacewalking time to become the all-time leading U.S. spacewalker and second overall in spaceflight history. It will be Gerst’s second spacewalk.

The exact date of the second spacewalk is under review, but it will take place during the next station crew rotation, Expedition 57. Astronauts will use that spacewalk to complete the power system refurbishment on the port truss.

NASA will provide coverage of the spacewalks, each expected to last about six-and-a-half hours, on NASA TV and the agency’s website. NASA TV coverage on Sept. 30 will begin at 7 a.m. with the spacewalk expected to begin at approximately 8:40 a.m. These spacewalks will be the 213th and 214th in support of station assembly, maintenance and upgrades; and the eighth and ninth outside the station this year.