Headlines > News > Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk to Prepare Station for New Russian Lab

Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk to Prepare Station for New Russian Lab

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:24 pm via: NASA
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Expedition 36 Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin completed a 6-hour, 34-minute spacewalk at 4:06 p.m. EDT Monday when they closed the hatch to the International Space Station’s Pirs docking compartment.

The spacewalk began at 9:32 a.m. when the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment was opened.

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

During the spacewalk, they replaced an aging fluid flow control panel on the station’s Zarya module as preventative maintenance on the cooling system for the Russian segment of the station. They also installed 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 retrieved two science experiments and installed one new one.

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

Yurchikhin wore the Orlan-MK spacesuit with red stripes and Misurkin wore a suit with blue stripes. Both spacewalkers were equipped with NASA helmet cameras to provide close-up views of their work.

This was 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, provided spacewalk support and continued their work on a variety of science and maintenance activities.

During the spacewalk, Cassidy and Vinogradov were 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 were free to move about the U.S. segment of the station since their Soyuz vehicle (TMA-09M) is docked to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing side of the Zarya module.

Parmitano and Nyberg participated in vision tests as part of the crew Health Maintenance System. The data collected was then downlinked for analysis by medical ground support teams to study the effect of microgravity on sight.

Nyberg also worked with the Advanced Colloids Experiment which observes materials containing small colloidal particles and how their physical properties behave in space.

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