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Astronauts take a spacewalk to lubricate robotic arm

12 October 2017

Commander Randy Bresnik ventured out for the second time in less than a week, along with Mark Vande Hei.

Two US astronauts embarked Tuesday on the second spacewalk this month to make much-needed repairs to the International Space Station's robotic arm, NASA said. Live coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 6:30 a.m. EDT (1030 GMT), as the astronauts put on their Extravehicular Mobility Units, or spacesuits, and get ready for the day. As the space station approached Italy, Mission Control urged the spacewalkers to take some photos for their crewmate, Paolo Nespoli. Vande Hei is designated EV 2 and will wear a plain white spacesuit with no red stripes. The pair replaced the latching mechanism on one end of the 58-foot robot arm on Thursday. NASA plans to replace the latching mechanism on the opposite end of the arm early next year. During next spacewalk on October 18, astronauts will replace another old camera nicknamed "Old Yeller" that is tinting images yellow.

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While conducting a spacewalk during shuttle mission STS-123 in 2008, NASA astronaut Rick Linnehan is anchored to the end of Canadarm2.

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei made fast work of greasing the big robot arm's new hand. Bresnik and Vande Hei moved later to secondary tasks like tightening a latch on an external oxygen tank, preparing ammonia pump module to permit venting before planned relocating, removal of two handrails to prepare space for installation of wireless antennas in future, changing camera lens cover.

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A third spacewalk in the series is scheduled October 18 by Bresnik and station flight engineer Joe Acaba.

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Astronauts take a spacewalk to lubricate robotic arm