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One Spacewalk Down, One to Go

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:14 pm via: NASA
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The six Expedition 32 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station began their day Tuesday four hours later than usual following Monday’s spacewalk, the first of two planned for this Expedition crew.

During that 5-hour, 51-minute excursion, Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko moved the Strela-2 cargo boom from the Pirs docking compartment to the Zarya module to prepare Pirs for its eventual replacement with a new Russian multipurpose laboratory module. The two spacewalking cosmonauts also installed micrometeoroid debris shields on the exterior of the Zvezda service module and deployed a small science satellite.

Padalka and Malenchenko spent much of their day Tuesday drying out their Orlan spacesuits and stowing spacewalk equipment. They also reopened the hatch to the Automated Transfer Vehicle-3, which had been closed since Sunday as a contingency because the spacewalkers were working on the exterior of Zvezda where the European Space Agency cargo ship is docked.

In the Japanese Kibo laboratory, Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Aki Hoshide spent their morning assembling the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform and later transferred it into the module’s airlock in preparation for deployment of a small satellite.

Acaba and Hoshide also worked on activating the Aquatic Habitat, 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.

Flight Engineer Suni Williams focused on an experiment known as Burning And Suppression of Solids, or BASS, which studies how a variety of solid materials burn and extinguish in microgravity. Results from BASS may lead to improvements in spacecraft materials selection, strategies for extinguishing accidental fires aboard spacecraft and improved computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems here on Earth.

Williams, Acaba and Hoshide rounded out their day with a conference call with flight controllers to discuss the second Expedition 32 spacewalk scheduled for Aug. 30. During the 6.5-hour excursion, Williams and Hoshide will replace a faulty power relay unit on the station’s truss, route power cables for the Russian multipurpose module replacing Pirs and replace a failing camera on the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Sergei Revin, also a flight engineer, worked in the Russian segment of the station, cleaning ventilation screens and performing routine maintenance on the toilets in Zvezda.

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