Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cosmonauts Complete Space Station Spacewalk

Spacewalkers Gennady Padalka and Yuri Malenchenko
Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko completed the first spacewalk of the Expedition 32 International Space Station  mission at 5:28 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 20.  They began the spacewalk at 11:37 a.m.

The primary task during the five-hour, 51-minute excursion was to move the Strela-2 cargo boom from the Pirs docking compartment to the Zarya module. The move was another step in preparing Pirs for its eventual undocking and disposal, which will make room for the docking of the new Russian multipurpose laboratory module to the Zvezda nadir port.  Other tasks included the installation of micrometeoroid debris shields on the exterior of the Zvezda service module and the deployment of a small science satellite. 

The spacewalk was the ninth for Padalka and the fifth for Malenchenko. It was the 163rd in support of station assembly and maintenance.

A second Expedition 32 spacewalk, scheduled for Aug. 30, will be conducted by NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide. The duo will don U.S. extravehicular mobility unit spacesuits for the first U.S.-based spacewalk since July 2011. It will be a 6.5-hour excursion designed to replace a faulty power relay unit on the station's truss, rig power cables for the arrival late next year of a Russian laboratory module, replace a failing robotic arm camera and install a thermal cover on a docking port.  

Image Credit: NASA TV