Sunday, February 20, 2011

Russian Spacewalkers Process ISS Experiments


HOUSTON — Cosmonauts Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka breezed through the installation of two experiments and the retrieval of materials science panels outside the International Space Station (ISS) during a Feb. 16 spacewalk that ended 1 hr. earlier than planned.
In their 5-hr. excursion that concluded at 1:21 p.m. EST, the spacewalkers attached the Molniya-Gamma and Radiometria experiments to the exterior of the Zvezda service module.
The first will investigate gamma-ray and optical flashes from cosmic sources and lightning associated with terrestrial thunderstorms. Radiometria will monitor ground-based microwave emissions that could be useful in the prediction of seismic activity, including earthquakes.

“Thank you, guys,” radioed Moscow Mission Control, which supervised the outing, as the two men finished the deployment of the Radiometria antennas. “That was beautiful.”
The cosmonauts jettisoned an aging foot restraint, carefully shoving the spacewalking tool in the opposite direction of the station’s travel to assure there would not be another contact.
After making their way to Zarya, the station’s oldest module, Kondratyev and Skripochka retrieved a pair of Komplast panels containing samples of candidate materials for use in the fabrication of future spacecraft.
Until late last week, the two men had been scheduled to manually deploy ArisSat-1, an educational satellite equipped with an amateur radio transmitter and prerecorded, multilingual messages commemorating the April 12th 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight by Russian Yuri Gagarin.
The deployment has been rescheduled for a July spacewalk.
Photo: NASA TV
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