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Multiple Spacewalk Preparations for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:15 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 32 crew of the International Space Station tackled a variety of research and maintenance tasks Tuesday as well as continuing preparations for a pair of upcoming spacewalks.

Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko resized and conducted leak checks on the Orlan spacesuits they will wear during an excursion outside the station on Monday to prepare the Pirs docking compartment for its replacement with a new laboratory and docking module. The spacewalkers will relocate the Strela-2 hand-operated crane from the Pirs docking compartment to the Zarya module. Strela-1 was moved from Pirs to the Poisk Mini-Research Module during an Expedition 30 spacewalk in February. Padalka and Malenchenko also will deploy a small satellite and install some debris shields on the Zvezda service module.

Flight Engineer Sergei Revin filmed the cosmonauts’ spacewalk preparations for Russian television and later assisted Padalka with the installation of a docking mechanism for the ISS Progress 48 cargo craft.

Meanwhile, Flight Engineer Suni Williams spent part of her day preparing equipment for a U.S. spacewalk set for Aug. 30. Williams cycled the batteries, recharged the water tanks and scrubbed the cooling loops in the spacesuits that she and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide will wear during an excursion out to the station’s truss to replace a faulty Main Bus Switching Unit — a distribution hub for the station’s power system. The spacewalkers also will route cables for the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory replacing Pirs and remove and replace a camera on a robotic arm extension boom.

Williams also assisted Flight Engineer Joe Acaba with stowage as they transferred items from the Kounotori3 H-II Transfer Vehicle and the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Logistics module into Pressurized Mating Adapter 2.

Acaba also participated in proficiency training for his role as Crew Medical Officer. Later he configured two cameras for use by Padalka and Malenchenko during Monday’s spacewalk.

Hoshide focused much of his attention on the reconfiguration of the Aquatic Habitat experiment, which provides a new facility option for the study of small, freshwater fish on orbit. Scientists have multiple studies planned to look at the impacts of radiation, bone degradation, muscle atrophy and developmental biology.

Throughout the day, Hoshide, Williams and Acaba participated in ultrasound eye exams as part of the station’s Health Maintenance System.

The station’s residents also had a number of opportunities to observe and photograph our home planet as they orbit nearly 250 miles above the Earth’s surface. Among the sites suggested to the crew for photography Tuesday were the capital cities of La Paz, Bolivia, and Dili, East Timor. The crew also was asked to obtain additional photographs of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to track any recent changes in its ice field.

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