Space Station EVA Performed Without Space Shuttle Present

By Keith Cowing
October 8, 2001
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Two Russian cosmonauts from the Expedition Three crew aboard the International Space Station performed a 5 hour spacewalk Monday. The Expedition 3 crew will perform two addition EVAs in the weeks ahead – one of which will be performed on 15 October.

This spacewalk marked the first time that a spacewalk has been performed from the ISS without the presence of a Space Shuttle orbiter. It was also the 100th spacewalk performed by cosmonauts since the first EVA (by anyone) was performed by Alexi Leonov in 1965.

Cosmonauts Mikhail Tyurin and Vladimir Dezhurov assembled and installed the Strela crane (cargo boom), a 6 foot ladder, a KURS docking target, and other equipment. The Strela crane can extend outwards up to 40 feet and will be used to position spacewalkers and hardware during future EVAs.

American astronaut Frank Culbertson monitored the EVA from inside the ISS. Due to time constraints, checkout of the Strela crane was not performed but will be done on a future EVA.

The EVA was performed out of the newly attached Pirs module. Pirs (also known as Docking Compartment 1 or DC-1) is docked to the nadir docking port of Zvezda (Service Module). Pirs was used to carry up Strela and the other equipment from Russia on mission ISS-4R which was launched on 17 September 2001. Pirs serves to provide an additional Progress/Soyuz docking port and to allow EVAs to be performed from the Russian segment of the ISS.

Since the EVA originated from the Russian segment, the cosmonauts used Russian “Orlan” EVA suits. Unlike American models, these suits do not have gas jet-equipped “SAFER” (Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue) backpacks to use in case they drift away from the ISS. Instead, both cosmonauts were tethered to the ISS during their EVA – a process used on all previous Mir and Salyut EVAs and on Space Shuttle EVAs before the debut of the SAFER backpack.

On 19 October the Pirs module will be used for the temporary docking of the Soyuz spacecraft currently attached to the nadir docking port of Zarya (FGB). This older Soyuz will be moved so as to make room for a new Soyuz taxi mission (ISS-3S) which is scheduled for launch on 21 October. This mission will arrive at the ISS on 23 October and will remain docked for 8 days. On board will be Commander Victor Afanasyev, Flight Engineer Konstantin Kozeev, and Flight Engineer Claudie
Haignere, CNES. The Taxi crew will then depart with the older Soyuz and return to Earth.

Related Links

  • ISS Elements: Docking Compartment-1 (DC-1) – “Pirs”, SpaceRef

  • Service Module ORLAN Operations, 25 September 2000, NASA JSC [Acrobat]

    This 72 page document contains the procedures required to maintain and operate the Russian ORLAN EVA suit. This documents contains numerous photographs and diagrams describing the ORLAN suit’s operation and a series of checklists and procedures used to perform systems checks, trouble shoot, and routine maintenance.

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