Status Report

Spacewalkers to Outfit Station’s Exterior

By SpaceRef Editor
September 22, 2004
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Spacewalkers to Outfit Station’s Exterior

The Expedition 10 crew is getting set to venture outside the International
Space Station for the first of the mission’s two spacewalks.

Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov will install a
work platform, mount a robotics experiment, check vents on systems that help
control the Station’s atmosphere and install a scientific experiment in the
early morning hours of Jan. 26.

The spacewalk is to begin about 2:30 a.m. EST and should last almost 5.5
hours. Most of the work will be done outside the Zvezda Service Module.
Spacewalkers will use the airlock of the Russian Pirs docking compartment
and wear Russian Orlan spacesuits.

Both spacewalkers will wear suits with red stripes. They will be
distinguishable by the U.S. flag on Chiao’s shoulder. This will be Chaio’s
fifth spacewalk and Sharipov’s first.

After opening the hatch and assembling equipment, Sharipov and Chiao will
move from the Pirs back to about the middle of the Zvezda. There they will
begin what should be about a two-hour job, installation of a Universal Work
Platform — a kind of space work table — and its base, along with
associated wiring.

Next they’ll install on the work platform the European commercial experiment
Rokviss (Robotic Components Verification on ISS). That experiment explores
the use of manipulator rotary joints, operated from inside Zvezda via a

Rokviss is designed to study remote operation of such joints and the effects
of space on them. The German device could help lead to a new generation of
space robots.

Sharipov and Chiao will work together to relocate the Japanese MPAC&SEED
(Microparticle and Capture & Space Environment Exposure Device) experiment
to a new location on its rail-like mounting. That experiment exposes various
materials to space. At the old MPAC&SEED location they will install a
Rokviss antenna, then run and connect cables to link a transceiver with the
experiment and the antenna.

Still outside Zvezda, they will inspect and photograph gas vent nozzle
extenders including those of the Elektron and Vozdukh. Both the Elektron,
which divides water into its components, oxygen for the Station’s interior
and hydrogen, which is vented overboard, and Vozdukh, a carbon-dioxide
scrubber, have experienced some glitches recently. The inspection should
help determine if the vents could be part of the problem.

The spacewalk was lengthened by a little over an hour so this task could be
done. Once it is finished, Sharipov and Chiao will move with their tool
carrier back to Pirs.

Finally, on the outside of the Docking Compartment, they will install the
Russian Biorisk experiment. It looks at the impact of spaceflight on
microorganisms. Eventually information from the experiment could be used to
keep us from contaminating other planets with Earth’s microorganisms, or
perhaps even to protect our own planet.

The spacewalkers are scheduled to re-enter the airlock and close the hatch
at about 8 a.m. EST.

This will be the 57th spacewalk to assemble and maintain the Station. It
will be the 32nd spacewalk from the Station itself, and the 14th from Pirs.

A second spacewalk for Chiao and Sharipov is scheduled for March. During
that spacewalk, they will install navigational and communications equipment
for the arrival of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo craft.

The ATV is an unpiloted cargo carrier similar in some ways to the Russian
Progress spacecraft, but it has more than double the cargo capacity of the
Progress. It is scheduled to make its first flight late this year.

SpaceRef staff editor.