NASA is currently in the middle of a financial battle with the Trump administration but the agency is making sure that it's still keeping its current active programs in top condition, as evidenced by the International Space Station's activities.
ISS astronauts have been sharing incredible sights they see in and from space. This time, we all have a chance to see them in action as NASA live streams three spacewalks that will each last for 6.5 hours!
NASA announced on March 18 that the ISS will have three scheduled spacewalks on March 24, April 2, and April 4, all beginning at 8 a.m. EDT (12 noon GMT). Each mission will feature two astronauts from Expedition 50.
The NASA stream started at 6:30 a.m. EDT (10:30 a.m. GMT) but it will mostly involve preparations since the actual spacewalk will not begin until an hour and a half later. Expedition 50 astronauts involved in the three spacewalks are Commander Shane Kimbrough, European Space Agency Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet, and NASA Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson.
The first spacewalk, which is happening March 24, will require Kimbrough and Pesquet to prepare the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 or PMA-3 for the installation of a second International Docking Adapter, which will be used to dock commercial crew vehicles. The two astronauts will have to disconnect electrical connections and cables in preparation for a robotic move on March 30 and, once the PMA-3 is properly installed in its new location, it will be the main dock for the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship.
"The two spacewalkers will lubricate the latching end effector on the Canadarm2 robotic arm, inspect a radiator valve suspected of a small ammonia leak and replace cameras on the Japanese segment of the outpost," NASA writes.
The second spacewalk, scheduled for April 2, will have Kimbrough and Whitson connecting the PMA-3 electrical connections and cables in its new location atop Harmony, as well as installing the second upgraded computer relay box on the ISS's truss. They will also install covers and shields on the PMA-3.
The third and final scheduled spacewalk will have Pesquet and Whitson replace the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier - an avionics storage platform - on the ISS' starboard truss. The box contains command, electrical, and data routing equipment for scientific experiments aboard the ISS.
The live stream will include live scenes from the ground operations, the ISS, and even the GoPro camera attached to the astronauts' helmet.
You can watch the live stream from NASA TV or in the video below (you can even send in questions as you watch and it could get answered on air).