Cosmonauts Working to Outfit Rassvet Module


Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Mikhail Kornienko have exited the Pirs docking compartment, beginning the first Expedition 24 spacewalk at 12:11 a.m. EDT. The cosmonauts are in their Russian Orlan spacesuits to outfit the new Rassvet module for a Kurs automated rendezvous system capability for the automated docking of Russian vehicles arriving at the station to link up to Rassvet in the future.

A Russian spacewalker exits the Pirs docking compartment beginning the first Expedition 24 spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

The six-hour spacewalk will also include routing and mating Command and Data Handling cables on the Zvezda and Zarya modules. A video camera will be removed and replaced from the aft end of Zvezda which will be used to provide television views of the final approach and docking of future European Automated Transfer Vehicles carrying cargo to the complex. This is the 25th Russian spacewalk and the 147th spacewalk overall in support of station assembly and maintenance.

This is Kornienko’s first spacewalk and Yurchikhin’s fourth. Yurchikhin’s first three spacewalks occurred when he was commander of Expedition 15 in 2007.

The second spacewalk of Expedition 24 is planned for August 5 by Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson in U.S. spacesuits out of the Quest airlock. They will install a power cable to the Unity module in preparation for the installation of the Permanent Multipurpose Module during the STS-133 mission in November. A Portable Data Grapple Fixture will be installed on the Zarya module that will extend the reach of Canadarm2, the station’s robotic arm, and increase a spacewalker’s access for assembly or maintenance work. They also will jettison multi-layer insulation removed for the grapple fixture installation and will mate power connectors to Zarya.

Caldwell Dyson will be making the first spacewalk of her career. Wheelock will be conducting his fourth. His first three spacewalks occurred as a mission specialist during STS-120 in late 2007.

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