Volare mission control centre tells us more about Luca’s EVA and the preparations:

We have just finished the management team meeting to assess the overall readiness of the Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) planned for 9 July.

An assessment of all disciplines is required to conclude the readiness for such an activity. All teams, including the ESA teams, have looked at every detail of the EVA to ensure nothing is forgotten or overlooked. It’s a lengthy and complex process because the astronaut’s every move outside the ISS needs to be planned and safe.

The Canadian Robotics Arm SSRMS will be used during the EVA, as shown below in a picture that was taken of an EVA during STS-112.

Credits NASA

The spacewalk will last approximately 6 hours and Luca, together with his crewmate, will primarily be working on the forward front and back side of the ISS, running cables, replacing a transmitter and retrieving some hardware.

Credits NASA

Before the day of the spacewalk, the crew still has quite a lot of preparatory work to do to ensure they are ready. They will review all procedures and perform several checks on their space suits and the systems that support the spacewalk.

Luca’s space suit has lights and cameras on the helmet. This will allow us here at the Columbus Control Centre near Munich to ‘see’ through Luca’s eyes and follow what he is doing during the several hours of his spacewalk. The cameras use wireless video, so we are able to record the entire spacewalk for later view and assessment.

The space suit is made of a special material that protects the astronauts from the extreme temperatures ranging between less than -100 °C and more than +100 °C. It is not a nice environment to work, but that will be no problem for the two well-protected spacewalkers.

Once again, we are extremely proud to have an ESA astronaut performing an EVA and we want to be sure that everything is well prepared.

More details on the first spacewalk later this week, for now we have the GO for the first spacewalk of an Italian astronaut.