Johnson Space Center prepares for upcoming spacewalks

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - Later this month, NASA astronauts will mount new high-definition cameras on the outside of the International Space Station.

The cameras will help new commercial crew vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX line up with the station.

NASA realized it needs a clear view.

"It has been a long time since we've had a vehicle launching off American soil bringing crews to the space station. So, we're being very smart about it," NASA Station Operations Integration Manager Kenneth Todd said.

Workers at the Johnson Space Center are getting astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold ready for two sets of spacewalks. When your home improvement project is more than 200 miles from Earth, you carefully plan everything.

"It's designed kinda after your twist ties that you put on your bread wrapper. I think that's where the idea came from," NASA Spacewalk Officer Keith Johnson said.

Astronauts will also upgrade the cooling system hardware and install new communications systems for future dockings of commercial crew spacecraft, plus install the cameras that give them a clear view of approaching spaceships.

"With an HD cam you can zoom in and say, 'Oh! There's a multilayer insulation in the way. I need to worry about that. And here's how I can get around it,'" NASA Spacewalk Flight Director Anthony Vareha said.

The first spacewalk will start at 7:10 a.m. May 16. For more information about the ISS and its crew, click here.

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