Headlines > News > Station Crew Prepares for Spacewalk, Spacecraft Traffic at Station

Station Crew Prepares for Spacewalk, Spacecraft Traffic at Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:17 am via: NASA
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Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka spent Monday completing the outfitting of lights and tool caddies on their Orlan spacesuits in advance of Wednesday’s spacewalk out of the Pirs docking compartment – the 28th Russian spacewalk from the International Space Station. They conducted one final tag up with Russian spacewalk specialists as well. The duo is scheduled to begin the 6-hour, 3-minute excursion Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. EST.

Kondratyev and Skripochka will install a pair of experiments outside the station’s Russian segment. One experiment will collect seismic information to better predict earthquakes. The other experiment will observe radiation emitted during Earth-bound lightning and thunderstorms.

Other spacewalk tasks include retrieving debris panels, and removing and jettisoning a spacewalk foot restraint.

Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli and Catherine Coleman brushed up on robotics techniques in preparation for Friday’s relocation of the Japanese Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle. They will begin to move Kounotori2 from the Earth-facing port on the Harmony module to the space-facing port of Harmony Friday around 6:15 a.m., and the maneuver will last about 6 hours.

The relocation will provide the clearance needed for space shuttle Discovery to dock at the forward port of Harmony during the upcoming STS-133 mission to the station. Discovery is slated to launch Feb. 24 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

A new cargo craft is set to replenish the International Space Station with about seven tons of cargo, supplies and fuel. The European Space Agency / Arianespace launch team gave approval for the start of the terminal countdown for Tuesday’s launch of the Ariane 5 rocket that will carry the “Johannes Kepler” Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 into orbit. The spacecraft is slated to lift off from Kourou, French Guiana at 5:13 p.m. (7:13 p.m. Kourou time) and will arrive at the station on Feb. 23.

To make room for the “Johannes Kepler,” the ISS Progress 39 resupply vehicle will undock from the station’s Zvezda service module on Sunday. The crew wrapped up the loading of trash into the cargo ship Monday in preparation for its fiery re-entry and disposal over the Pacific Ocean.

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