Headlines > News > Cosmonauts Ready for Spacewalk While NASA Astronauts Work With Tiny Satellites

Cosmonauts Ready for Spacewalk While NASA Astronauts Work With Tiny Satellites

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:27 pm via: NASA
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A pair of cosmonauts is ready for Thursday morning’s spacewalk. Meanwhile, two NASA astronauts are working with student-controlled micro-satellites while ground controllers prepare to reposition the Canadarm2 outside the International Space Station.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev will exit the Pirs docking compartment Thursday at 9:50 a.m. EDT. They will spend about 6.5 hours outside installing an antenna, relocating a cargo boom, swabbing samples from a window on the Zvezda service module and switching out science experiment gear.

They spent today and the past couple of weeks reviewing their spacewalk timeline and procedures. The duo also readied their spacesuits and systems, gathered spacewalk tools and performed fit checks at suit pressure.

Veteran cosmonaut Max Suraev assisted his crewmates throughout their preparations. In the afternoon, Suraev had time for some final Pirs maintenance preparing cables, replacing filters and cleaning fan grilles in the docking compartment.

Commander Steve Swanson and Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman teamed up for test runs of the SPHERES-Slosh experiment during Wednesday afternoon. Students write algorithms that maneuver the soccer ball-sized satellites, monitored by the astronauts, to explore how liquids behave in containers.

During the morning both astronauts reviewed the SPHERES-Slosh procedures and trained for the experiment. Wiseman then set up the long-running experiment by getting laptop computers and the satellites ready to use before lunch time.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency (ESA) started his morning recording Earth observation video for replay in student classrooms. Part of the Education Payload Operations program, the Earth Guardian investigation videotapes Earth features such as oceans, rivers, mountains and forests along with an astronaut commentary.

Gerst spent the afternoon working with the FASES experiment hardware, or Fundamental and Applied Studies of Emulsion Stability. The emulsion study sponsored by ESA and located inside the Columbus module’s Fluids Science Laboratory could lead to environmentally friendly products with industrial and space applications.

Back on Earth, robotics controllers will command the Canadarm2 to maneuver into the correct position for upcoming relocation work. The Canadarm2 will move a Flight Releasable Attachment Mechanism from one external stowage platform to another in advance of a pair of U.S. spacewalks scheduled for August.

One of those spacewalks is planned for the relocation of a failed ammonia pump module that was changed out during another spacewalk in December. Two spacewalks took place in December with NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins removing the failed pump and installing a new one just before Christmas.

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