ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan will exit the International Space Station airlock together for the fourth time Saturday 25 January. It is the ninth spacewalk for Expedition 61 – the most spacewalks ever performed during a single Space Station expedition – and the last in a complex series to maintain the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer AMS-02. 



During this final #SpacewalkForAMS, Luca and Drew will check the particle detector’s upgraded pump system. After approximately three hours, their checks should reveal whether it is now leak-tight, ready to support further research into the origins of our Universe.


How to tune in


Live spacewalk coverage starts at 12:15 CET (11:15 GMT) on ESA Web TV – following the premiere of Luca and Drew’s hour-long Space Station tour at 11:00. The pair are scheduled to exit the airlock around 12:50 CET (11:50 GMT) and the entire spacewalk, from exit to their return to the airlock, is expected to take six hours.


This time Drew will hold the lead spacewalking role, called EV1, and be transported to the worksite by robotic arm. As EV2, Luca will wear a white spacesuit without stripes. He will start by making his way around the outside of the Station to the Earth-facing side of AMS where he will prepare tools for Drew ahead of the first leak check.


Luca and Drew prepare their spacesuits ahead of the final spacewalk to service AMS-02. Credit: ESA/NASA


Once all leak checks are complete, scientists will know whether the spacewalk series has been successful and – if so – reinitiate the instrument’s operation from the AMS Payload Operations Control Centre (POCC) at the European laboratory for particle physics, CERN, in Switzerland.


To round out the spacewalk, Luca and Drew will close the site with multi-layer insulation (MLI), clean-up and return to the airlock.


Final spacewalk of Beyond


The final spacewalk for AMS-02 will also be the last of Luca’s Beyond mission as he prepares to return to Earth in February after six months in space.


Prior to spacewalk coverage, ESA Web TV will premiere a comprehensive Space Station tour filmed by Luca and Drew. Tune in from 11:00 CET to watch this hour-long tour complete with unedited commentary from the duo.


Schedule in Central European Time:


Begin spacewalk preparation 08:00
Premiere of Space Station tour on ESA Web TV (not live) 11:00
Start ESA Web TV coverage 12:15
Begin airlock depressurisation 12:30
Exit the airlock 12:50
Luca arrives at worksite 13:50
Conduct leak check nadir side 14:20
Conduct leak check Vertical Support Beam (VSB) 15:00
Install multilayer insulation (MLI) tent 15:40
Close-out zenith side of AMS and clean-up 16:40
Re-enter the airlock 18:20