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Station Crew Prepares for Potential Spacewalk

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:10 pm via: NASA
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The Expedition 32 crew aboard the International Space Station checked out the U.S. spacesuits Friday following a record-setting spacewalk conducted the previous day as mission managers develop plans for another spacewalk as early as next week.

During Thursday’s 8-hour, 17-minute spacewalk, the third longest in history, Flight Engineers Suni Williams and Aki Hoshide were unable to install a replacement Main Bus Switching Unit on the long truss backbone of the station due to a troublesome bolt. Mission managers are assessing the situation for a follow-up spacewalk to complete the task as early as next week. Meanwhile, the station is in a stable configuration as it continues to draw power from six of its eight solar arrays.

Williams, Hoshide and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba, who assisted the spacewalkers Thursday from inside the station, participated in a debrief with specialists on the ground to discuss the spacewalk. Afterward, Williams and Hoshide resized their spacesuits for the potential follow-up spacewalk, while Acaba cycled the pressure valves for the suits and recharged their batteries. Williams and Hoshide also participated in a set of health evaluations to assess their physical condition following Thursday’s strenuous activity.

Hoshide rounded out his day relocating some contingency water containers and talking with students in Mayen, Germany, via ham radio.

Acaba later set up hardware for the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test, which takes a look at colloids — microscopic particles suspended in a liquid — and may lead to improvements in manufacturing processes here on Earth.

In the Russian segment of the station, Commander Gennady Padalka participated in a Russian cardiovascular study known as Pneumocard. His fellow cosmonauts Flight Engineers Sergei Revin and Yuri Malenchenko performed the biannual maintenance on the Treadmill with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization, one of several exercise devices available to crew members as they work out daily to prevent the loss of bone density and muscle mass that occurs during long-duration spaceflight.

Over the weekend, the crew will have some off-duty time to relax, talk with friends and family back on Earth and perform routine station maintenance and housekeeping tasks.

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