Headlines > News > Station Crew Prepares for Spacewalk, Repairs Exercise Device

Station Crew Prepares for Spacewalk, Repairs Exercise Device

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:00 am via: NASA
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Orbiting 240 statute miles above Earth on the International Space Station, the Expedition 28 crew wrapped up the workweek Friday with scientific research, repair work and preparations for a Russian spacewalk set for Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Sergei Volkov, both flight engineers, partially donned their Orlan spacesuits Friday to ensure they have a good fit for the suited dry run scheduled on Monday. The two cosmonauts also prepared U.S. tools and helmet lights that will be used during the six-hour excursion.

The two spacewalkers are scheduled to work outside the Russian segment Wednesday to move a hand-operated crane, install a laser communications terminal and remove and inspect antennas. Other tasks include installing a materials science experiment and deploying an amateur radio micro-satellite that will broadcast messages commemorating the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering spaceflight.

Flight Engineer Ron Garan spent much of his morning reconfiguring the Multipurpose Small Payload Rack in the Kibo module and installing a video recorder unit into the multidiscipline experiment facility. Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, also a flight engineer, assisted Garan with some of the work.

Furukawa also helped out Flight Engineer Mike Fossum as he tended to the Plant Signaling experiment, which studies the effects of microgravity on the growth of plants. Results from this experiment can lead to information that will aid in food production during future long-duration space missions, as well as data to enhance crop production on Earth.

Later, Fossum carried on with some preventative maintenance on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device, or ARED, as he tightened set screws on a flywheel before a problem noticed on the ground training unit could affect the space station device.

In addition to assisting his fellow crewmates, Furukawa continued efforts to organize the cargo delivered by the STS-135 crew of space shuttle Atlantis that was temporarily stowed in the Permanent Multi-purpose Module. During the final space shuttle mission, Atlantis delivered about 9,400 pounds of supplies and equipment aboard the multi-purpose logistics module Raffaello, with an additional 2,300 pounds of cargo brought up on Atlantis’ middeck.

Meanwhile, Commander Andrey Borisenko cleaned fan screens and conducted routine maintenance on the life support system in the Russian segment of the station.

Fossum and Garan took a brief break from their duties to talk with reporters from the New York Daily News and KBTX-TV in Bryan/College Station, Texas. Both astronauts have a personal connection to the cities served by these two news outlets; Garan was born in Yonkers, N.Y., and Fossum is a graduate of Texas A&M in College Station.

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