In a recent news release, NASA announced that the astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) are gearing up for not one, but two spacewalks in the near future. The first spacewalk is scheduled as early as next week, on May 16, while the second one will take place a month later, on June 14.
On both occasions, the privilege of venturing outside the ISS will fall on NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold. The two flight engineers of Expedition 55 will put on their spacesuits and head out into the vacuum of space to work on the orbiting station's cooling system and its communication equipment.
"The primary objectives are to finish upgrading cooling system hardware and install new and updated communications equipment for future dockings of commercial crew spacecraft," NASA pointed out in the news release, noting that it will be live-streaming both spacewalks.
Each of the two spacewalks is scheduled to last for six and a half hours and will mark the 210th and 211th times that ISS astronauts have stepped outside the space station for maintenance and upgrade duties.
Next week's spacewalk will be the fourth in Arnold's astronaut career, followed by his fifth outing in space on June 14. Meanwhile, although he confessed he suffers from a "mild fear of heights," Feustel has already racked up seven spacewalks and is about to perform his eighth and ninth one.