Headlines > News > Cargo Craft Launch, Russian Spacewalk Set for Wednesday

Cargo Craft Launch, Russian Spacewalk Set for Wednesday

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:04 am via: NASA
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Tuesday’s scheduled launch of the European Space Agency (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 (ATV2) was scrubbed due to a technical issue. A preliminary assessment indicates there may have been erroneous data on the flow of fuel through the manifolds on the first stage of the Ariane 5 rocket. Launch from the Arianespace launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, is now scheduled for Wednesday at 4:50:55 p.m EST. NASA Television coverage will begin at 4:15 p.m.

While there is the potential for an ATV launch slip to affect the targeted launch date of space shuttle mission STS-133, Tuesday’s scrub does not automatically impact STS-133. If ATV2 launches Wednesday, then STS-133’s target date would move to Feb. 25. However, a longer ATV slip beyond Friday would result in STS-133 remaining on track to launch on Feb. 24 at 4:50 p.m. EST.

The ATV2, named “Johannes Kepler” after the German astronomer and mathematician, will deliver seven tons of cargo to the station.

Meanwhile aboard the station, the Expedition 26 crew wrapped up preparations for Wednesday’s spacewalk by Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka out of the Pirs docking compartment – the 28th Russian spacewalk from the station. Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri teamed up with Kondratyev and Skripochka for a final review of the timeline.

During the six-hour excursion slated to begin at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, the two spacewalkers will outfit and retrieve scientific equipment from the exterior of the Russian segment of the station. Live coverage of the spacewalk begins on NASA TV at 7:45 a.m.

The crew also checked out the Kurs automated rendezvous system on the Russian segment of the complex in advance of Sunday’s undocking and deorbit of the ISS Progress 39 cargo ship. The departure of Progress 39 from the aft port of the Zvezda service module will clear the way for the arrival of ATV2.

In other preparations for the arrival of ATV2, Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli and Alexander Kaleri participated in a training drill to review crew actions in the unlikely event of a malfunction during the rendezvous and docking of the Johannes Kepler cargo craft.

Working in the Russian segment of the station, Flight Engineer Cady Coleman spent part of her day collecting water samples to be returned to Earth for further analysis.

Kelly, Coleman and Nespoli took a break from their duties aboard the station to talk with reporters back on Earth. The three answered a variety of questions about living and working in space from KPRC-TV in Houston, The Daily, Newsweek and ABC News.

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