Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are preparing for a spacewalk to conduct repairs on Friday.
Tim Peake of the European Space Agency and Tim Kopra of NASA will undertake a six-and-a-half hour excursion to replace a unit that failed on the station in November.
Once outside they will also deploy cables for the future installation of docking adapters that will prepare the station for the arrival of the new American commercial crew vehicles scheduled to launch in 2018.
The last spacewalk was conducted on Dec. 21 when Scott Kelly — currently part of the One-Year Mission aboard the station — and Tim Kopra were required to take an unscheduled one to move a rail car into place to prepare the station for the arrival of a cargo supply ship.
There were seven spacewalks in 2015. This is the first of the year.
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