Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ISS Spacewalkers Deploy Nanosatellite, Install and Retrieve Science

Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev deploys the Chasqui 1 nanosatellite outside the Pirs docking compartment near the beginning of Monday's spacewalk. 

Image courtesy NASA TV.

Two Expedition 40 spacewalkers, clad in Russian Orlan spacesuits, wrapped up a 5-hour, 11-minute excursion outside the International Space Station at 3:13 p.m. EDT Monday.

Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev deployed a small science satellite, retrieved and installed experiment packages and inspected components on the exterior of the orbital laboratory.

Shortly after the spacewalk began at
10:02 a.m., Artemyev manually deployed Chasqui 1, a Peruvian nanosatellite designed to take pictures of the Earth with a pair of cameras and transmit the images to a ground station.

The project is part of an effort by the National University of Engineering in Peru to gain experience in satellite technology and emerging information and communication technologies.

The spacewalkers installed the EXPOSE-R2 experiment package, a European Space Agency-sponsored suite of experiments, on the exterior of the Zvezda service module.

The package includes two astrobiology studies that will investigate biomaterials and extremophiles - organisms that are tolerant of environmental extremes.

Results from these experiments may contribute to life-detection strategies for future robotic exploration of Mars.

While on the conical section of Zvezda, they attached a handrail clamp holder for the Automatic Phased Array antenna.

Skvortsov and Artemyev set up that communication systems antenna during their first spacewalk on June 19.

The cosmonauts also set up the Plume Impingement and Deposit Monitoring unit on the Poisk Mini Research Module-2.

Skvortsov and Artemyev retrieved several science packages designed to expose a variety of materials to the harsh environment of space.

While on Poisk, they removed one cassette and install another on a materials experiment known by its Russian acronym SKK. The spacewalkers also retrieved a panel of sample materials from the Vinoslivost payload.

The retrieval of a Biorisk experiment container outside Pirs completed the science package roundup for the two cosmonauts. Biorisk studies the effects of microbes on spacecraft structures.

Skvortsov and Artemyev also collected residue samples from a window on Zvezda.

During the spacewalk, Commander Steve Swanson was isolated to the Poisk module and his Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft docked there due to the closure of hatches in support of the excursion. Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev arrived at the station March 27 aboard that Soyuz.

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