In pictures: How UAE astronaut's historic spacewalk will pan out on Friday

Donning a special suit with white stripes, Sultan AlNeyadi will spend about 6.5 hours 'in the vacuum of space' to continue the process of upgrading the ISS power generation system


Angel Tesorero

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Screengrab from Nasa
Screengrab from Nasa

Published: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 8:14 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 8:20 PM

The UAE’s Sultan AlNeyadi will take the first step for the Arab world’s historic spacewalk on Friday at 5.15pm (UAE time). He and Nasa astronaut Stephen Bowen will spend around 6 hours, 30 minutes “in the vacuum of space” to upgrade the power generation system of the orbiting International Space Station (ISS).

Bowen will serve as extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1) and will wear a spacesuit with red stripes. AlNeyadi will serve as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2) and will wear a suit with white stripes.

Here’s what will happen during the historic spacewalk:

EV 1 (Bowen) will be the first to egress. He will preposition two cooler bags on the airlock toolbox. EV 2 (AlNeyadi) will come out next and he will close the thermal cover.

After securing his body restraint tether, AlNeyadi will go to the external storage platform to stow his toolbox for later use; while Bowen heads to the starboard (right side of ISS facing forward) for the integrated electronics assembly. AlNeyadi then goes port side to retrieve an articulating portable foot restraint.

Both EV1 and EV2 will route cables on either side of the ISS power augmentation modification kit installed on one Bravo Beta Gimbal Assembly (the mechanism used to manoeuvre the solar arrays).

They will also adjust the beta cloth on the modification kit to preclude thermal stresses on the metal structure, and that concludes the activities and preparation for a future ISS rollout of solar array.

AlNeyadi then goes to the radio frequency group (RFG) work site. He will cut the clamshell portion off so it will remain installed on the high antenna, then he'll place the protective caps. Meanwhile, Bowen will retrieve another portable foot restraint from the port crew equipment aid cart and instal it onto the robotic arm before pulling the radio frequency group hardware off the ISS.

AlNeyadi will return to the airlock, opening the thermal cover, while Bowen is flown over to meet him. The duo will work together to stow the radio frequency group hardware safely in the crewlock.

After reinstalling the multi thermal insulation blanket over the stanchion (post used for support), Bowen will remove the foot restraint from the robotic arm and return it to its original location. He will then go to the starboard to pick up his and AlNeyadi’s safety tethers. AlNeyadi will stow the three crew-lock bags and, one by one, they will return to the airlock for ingress and conclusion of the extravehicular activity or spacewalk.


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