Jan. 23 (UPI) -- NASA astronauts Scott Tingle and Mark Vande Hei are in the midst of the first of two January spacewalks. The duo dawned spacesuits and exited the space station for a 6.5-hour mission on Tuesday morning.
Tingle and Vande Hei are busy swapping and stowing components of the space station's external robotics gear. Their work is being streamed live by NASA TV.
"The duo will swap a Latching End Effector with a spare one," NASA announced. "The LEE is the part of the Canadarm2 that grapples and releases spaceships and station hardware."
The second spacewalk will take place on Jan. 29. It will be carried out by Vande Hei and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai.
"The [second] spacewalk will be devoted to securing the degraded LEE B on the station's Mobile Base System rail car as a spare," NASA said. "Similar work was conducted on the robotic arm's LEE A during a series of spacewalks last October."