Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ISS Astronauts continue preparations for Spacewalk (EVA)

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, Expedition 41 flight engineer, works with tools and equipment on a spacesuit in the Quest airlock of the International Space Station in preparation for two spacewalks scheduled in October 2014.

Image Credit: NASA

With the first planned excursion of Expedition 41 just a week away, the International Space Station’s six-person crew spent Tuesday preparing spacewalking tools and equipment, while managing a packed agenda of scientific research and maintenance.

Commander Max Suraev of the Russian Federal Space Agency and the team of five flight engineers began the day at 2 a.m. EDT, and after some time for morning hygiene, breakfast and an inspection of the station, they conducted a daily planning conference with the flight control teams around the world.

Afterward, NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst went to work in the equipment lock section of the Quest airlock to stage the equipment they’ll need in order to prepare for spacewalks set for Oct. 7 and 15.

During the first six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk, slated to begin on Oct. 7 around 8:10 a.m., Wiseman and Gerst will transfer a previously uninstalled pump module from its temporary stowage location to the External Stowage Platform-2.

The two spacewalkers also will install the Mobile Transporter Relay Assembly (MTRA) that adds the capability to provide “keep-alive” power to the system that moves the station’s robotic arm between worksites.

The two astronauts will venture out on the station’s starboard truss to replace a voltage regulator that failed in mid-May.

Although the station has since operated normally on seven of its eight power channels, replacement of the regulator, known as a sequential shunt unit, is considered a high priority.

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