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One Spacewalk Down, One to Go For Station Astronauts

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:25 pm via: NASA
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In the wake of a 6-hour, 7-minute spacewalk Tuesday by Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy and Luca Parmitano, the International Space Station’s Expedition 36 crew turned its attention Wednesday toward next week’s excursion out of the Quest airlock.

Cassidy and Parmitano began their day with some post-spacewalk health exams conducted by Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg in her role as crew medical officer. Afterward Cassidy recharged the water tanks of the U.S. spacesuits with iodinated water.

One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station used a 50mm lens to record this image of a large mass of storm clouds over the Atlantic Ocean near Brazil and the Equator.  Image Credit: NASA

One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station used a 50mm lens to record this image of a large mass of storm clouds over the Atlantic Ocean near Brazil and the Equator. Image Credit: NASA

Cassidy and Parmitano then moved on to inspecting and stowing tools used in Tuesday’s spacewalk and configuring the gear for their next spacewalk set for Tuesday, July 16.

With Cassidy and Parmitano having proceeded so efficiently through their first Expedition 36 spacewalk, completing all their scheduled tasks and even tackling a few items originally planned for next week, the spacewalk team at Houston’s Mission Control Center is in the process of replanning the next spacewalk to make the best use of the crew’s time with minimal impact to the station’s primary research mission. Cassidy, Parmitano and Nyberg spoke with the ground team during an in-flight conference call to review the spacewalk and discuss the evolving timeline.

During Tuesday’s spacewalk, Cassidy and Parmitano replaced a Ku-band receiver box, relocated grapple bars and routed cables for the new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module set to arrive later this year. Next week the two spacewalkers will venture out the Quest airlock again to complete the installation of two bypass jumpers to bring power redundancy and stability to critical station components and route additional cables for the new Russian module.

Nyberg and Parmitano packed up two space exposure payloads that were retrieved from the starboard truss segment during Tuesday’s spacewalk.  The Optical Reflector Materials Experiment III (ORMatE-III) and the Payload Experiment Container (PEC) – both part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment-8, or MISSE-8 – are scheduled to return to Earth aboard the SpaceX-3 commercial cargo craft later this year. These experiments were designed to assess the impacts of the space environment on materials and processor elements.

Nyberg also opened the shutter of the Window Observational Research Facility inside the Destiny laboratory for the ISS SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV), which is designed to gain experience in automated data acquisition and provide images for disaster monitoring and assessment.

Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin retrieved a trio of Pille radiation dosimeters that had been placed inside the two U.S. spacesuits and inside a spacewalk equipment bag to record radiation exposure data. Variations of these Pille dosimeters have been in use since the days of the Russian Salyut 6 space station in the late 1970s.

Misurkin later collected a sample from the Vynoslivost experiment, which studies material fatigue in the space environment. Results from this study will provide data for estimating the life-span of structural elements for current and future station modules.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov joined Misurkin for the Vizir Earth-observation experiment and later worked with cargo aboard the ISS Progress 50 resupply ship berthed at the station’s Pirs docking compartment.

Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin began his day with the Kulonovskiy Kristall experiment, gathering data about charged particles in a weightless environment. He also joined Vinogradov for a survey of the hull surfaces of the Russian segment of the station.

Before the crew began its day, the station received an altitude adjustment to prepare for upcoming vehicle traffic. The thrusters of the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-4, which is docked to the rear of the station’s Zvezda service module, were fired at 1:35 a.m. EDT for nine minutes, 52 seconds to raise the station’s orbit by 3.2 miles at perigee. This maneuver set up the correct phasing for the single-day launch and docking of the ISS Progress 52 cargo ship on July 27 as well as for the Expedition 36 crew’s departure aboard the Soyuz TMA-08M in September. The reboost left the station in an orbit of 263.7 x 254.7 statute miles with an average altitude of 259 statute miles.

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