Space Stations

Russian Spacewalkers Performing Routine EVA

By Keith Cowing
December 27, 2013
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Russian Spacewalkers Performing Routine EVA

This spacewalk is not related to a recent pair of spacewalks by two NASA astronauts to replace a faulty ammonia coolant pump
Two Russian cosmonauts in Orlan spacesuits are venturing outside the International Space Station Friday for a planned 7-hour spacewalk to install photographic and scientific equipment on the hull of the complex.

Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy opened the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment at 8 a.m. EST to begin the excursion.

The two spacewalkers will attach a pair of high-fidelity cameras on a combination biaxial pointing platform and spacewalk workstation that was installed on the Zvezda service module during an Expedition 36 spacewalk on Aug. 22. The high and medium resolution cameras are part of a Canadian commercial endeavor designed to downlink Earth observation imagery.

Kotov and Ryazanskiy also will install a foot restraint to the workstation.

After routing data and telemetry cables for the medium resolution camera, Kotov will jettison the cable reel opposite of the station’s direction of travel for disposal.

The spacewalkers will remove the Vsplesk experiment package and jettison it as well. Vsplesk, installed during an Expedition 17 spacewalk in July 2008, was designed to monitor seismic effects using high-energy particle streams in the near-Earth environment. Kotov and Ryazanskiy will replace it with a hardware for new earthquake-monitoring experiment, Seismoprognoz, which they will attach to a Zvezda handrail.

Kotov and Ryazanskiy also will dispose of a frame that once held three Micro-Particles Capturer and Space Environment Exposure Device (MPAC & SEED) units for a Japanese space exposure study. With the last of these MPAC & SEED units having been retrieved during an August 2005 spacewalk, the frame currently serves as the attachment location for two unrelated experiments. The spacewalkers will temporarily remove those experiment packages, uninstall and jettison the MPAC & SEED frame, install a payload boom in its place and reattach the two experiments.

The two spacewalkers will round out their excursion by retrieving a sample cassette from a materials space exposure experiment on Pirs.

Kotov, who is making his fifth spacewalk, is designated EV1 for Friday’s excursion, while Ryazanskiy, designated EV2, is conducting his second. Both are wearing Russian Orlan suits with blue stripes.

This is the 177th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance, and the 11th this year.

During the spacewalk, Flight Engineer Mike Hopkins will be restricted to the Poisk module and the Soyuz TMA-10M craft that brought him, Kotov and Ryazanskiy to the complex in September. The remaining three crew members – Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio, Koichi Wakata and Mikhail Tyurin – will have access to the Zarya module as well as the entirety of the U.S. segment of the station.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.