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. Expedition 53 astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will also "stand" on Canadarm2 during spacewalks on October 10 and October 18.
The duo astronauts will do a second space walk to lubricate the replaced LEE and replace a camera on the outside of the station.
NASA says Canadarm2 helped build the station and keep it running.
This came as no surprise, however, as the two LEEs on Canadarm2 have already exceeded their life expectancy, said Tim Braithwaite, the ISS program liaison for the Canadian Space Agency. Vande Hei, EV-2, is wearing an unmarked suit and is using helmetcam 20.
Officially called the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), Canadarm2 is part of the Mobile Servicing System (MSS), and it is one of the most crucial tools on the ISS. The LEE works like a hand at the end of the robotic arm and grapples incoming cargo spacecraft like SpaceX's Dragon and Orbital ATK's Cygnus. The spacewalk is the first of three planned over the next two weeks.
But that doesn't mean it doesn't experience wear and tear.
A spare LEE is stored outside on the station's truss.
Bresnik's third spacewalk and the first for Vande Hei.
Two more walks are scheduled, one on October 10 and the other this month on October 18.
The astronauts then will remove an operational LEE now attached to the transporter itself and bolt it in place on the end of the arm, tightening the six bolts and re-attaching the insulation.