Washington: Astronauts on-board the International Space Station (ISS) successfully completed a 6-hour spacewalk, the first of two to prepare the space lab for a new Russian module and to tackle a backlog of chores.
Two Expedition 36 astronauts wrapped up a successful 6-hour, 7-minute spacewalk yesterday to perform additional installations on the station`s backbone, NASA said.
Yesterday`s spacewalk was the 170th in support of station assembly and maintenance, totalling 1,073 hours, 50 minutes.
Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency began the spacewalk as they switched their spacesuits to battery power.
After the two space-walkers exited the hatch, Cassidy moved to the top of the Z1 truss to remove and replace a Space-to-Ground Transmitter Receiver Controller.
This unit, one of two that allows for two independent strings of Ku-band communication for video and data, had failed in December last year.
Parmitano headed out to the Express Logistics Carrier-2 on the starboard truss segment and retrieved two experiments that were part of the Materials ISS Experiment-8, or MISSE-8.
The Optical Reflector Materials Experiment III (ORMatE-III) and the Payload Experiment Container, which assessed the impacts of the space environment on materials and processor elements, are scheduled to return to Earth aboard the SpaceX-3 commercial cargo craft later this year.
Parmitano also photographed the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02) to provide the research team a visual assessment of the condition of this state-of-the-art particle physics detector.
Cassidy meanwhile routed power cables to support the addition of the new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module scheduled to arrive at the station later this year.
Cassidy routed cables from the Unity node to the interface between the Pressurised Mating Adapter-1 and the Zarya module. The station cosmonauts will complete that set up during a future spacewalk.
The new module, known as Nauka, will serve as a research facility, docking port and airlock for future Russian spacewalks and will replace the Pirs docking compartment.