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Spacewalkers Prepare Exterior of Station for New Russian Lab

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:59 pm via: NASA
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Expedition 35 Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin began a scheduled 6-hour spacewalk at 9:32 a.m. EDT Monday when they opened the hatch to the International Space Station’s Pirs docking compartment.

Yurchikhin and Misurkin are conducting the excursion to prepare for the addition of a new Russian module later this year.

During the spacewalk, they are scheduled to replace a fluid flow control panel on the station’s Zarya module and install clamps for future power cables as an early step toward swapping the Pirs airlock with a new multipurpose laboratory module. The Russian Federal Space Agency plans to launch a combination research facility, airlock and docking port late this year on a Proton rocket.

Yurchikhin and Misurkin also will retrieve several science experiments on the outside of the Zvezda service module.

The spacewalk is the 169th in support of space station assembly and maintenance, the sixth for Yurchikhin and the first for Misurkin.

Yurchikhin is wearing an Orlan-MK spacesuit with red stripes while Misurkin is wearing a suit with blue stripes. Both spacewalkers are equipped with NASA helmet cameras to provide close-up views of their work.

This is the second of up to six Russian spacewalks planned for this year. Two U.S. spacewalks by NASA’s Chris Cassidy and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency are scheduled in July.

Meanwhile inside the orbiting laboratory, the other four Expedition 36 crew members, Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy, Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano, will provide spacewalk support and continue their work on a variety of science and maintenance activities.

Cassidy and Vinogradov will be isolated in their Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft that is attached to the Poisk module on the Russian segment due to the closure of hatches to the other passageways on the Russian side of the station. Parmitano and Nyberg are free to move about the U.S. segment of the station since their Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft is docked to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing side of the Zarya module.

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