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Crew Back in Station After Successful Spacewalk


Crew Back in Station After Successful Spacewalk

International Space Station crewmembers Valery Tokarev and Bill McArthur 
Friday completed a successful 5-hour, 43-minute spacewalk that included 
jettisoning an old Russian Orlan spacesuit equipped with a radio for 
broadcasts to students around the world.

The spacewalkers, both in red-striped Orlan suits, re-entered the 
airlock of the Pirs docking compartment and closed its hatch at 11:27 
p.m. EST Friday. During the spacewalk, Tokarev, Expedition 12 flight 
engineer, and McArthur, E12 commander, relocated an adaptor for a small 
crane, retrieved experiments and inspected and photographed parts of the 
station's exterior.

The third spacesuit, near the end of its useful life, was jettisoned by 
Tokarev early in the spacewalk. That suit, called SuitSat-1, will remain 
in its own orbit for as much as six weeks before re-entering the Earth's 
atmosphere and burning.

For the first part of that time in orbit  for perhaps a week or two  
devices in the suit will broadcast recorded ham radio messages in 
Russian, Japanese, Spanish, German, French and English. Most were voiced 
by students. Japanese ham operators were the first to report hearing 
SuitSat-1. By the end of the spacewalk, reports of contacts had ceased.

The transmissions, predicted to last for as much as several weeks or for 
as little as an hour (depending on battery life), were on 145.990 MHz 
FM, in the VHF or 2-meter part of the amateur radio band. Voice 
transmissions also included suit data, mission time, suit temperature 
and battery voltage.

SuitSat-1, called RadioSkaf or Radio Sputnik in Russian, is sponsored by 
ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station), an 
international working group made up of volunteers from national amateur 
radio societies, including the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation.

Tokarev carefully jettisoned the SuitSat-1 in much the same way McArthur 
jettisoned the Floating Potential Probe experiment during their November 
spacewalk. He pushed it away at about a 30-degree angle upward and about 
10 degrees to the left of the back of the station.

After the spacesuit jettison, the crew relocated a boom adapter for the 
Strela, a Russian hand-operated crane, from the Zarya module to 
Pressurized Mating Adapter 3. That was done to clear the Zarya area for 
temporary stowage of protective debris panels for the Zvezda Service 
Module, to be delivered on STS-116.

Next the spacewalkers spent over an hour on a safing task at the mobile 
transporter, which can provide a base for the station's robotic arm for 
movement along the rails on the orbiting laboratory's main truss.

On Dec. 16 one of two trailing umbilical system cables providing power, 
data and video was severed by a device designed to cut the umbilical 
should it become jammed. A second cable provides the same links to the 
mobile transporter. Tokarev and McArthur partly inserted a bolt and then 
wire-tied a cable to eliminate the risk of uncommanded cutting of that 
second, intact cable.

To replace the severed cable, a new umbilical assembly is scheduled to 
be installed during Discovery's STS-121 mission to the station.

Back on the hull of the Zvezda service module, spacewalkers retrieved 
the Biorisk experiment, which looks at microorganisms in space. 
Subsequently they photographed a sensor for a Russian Micrometeoroid 
Measuring System.

Tokarev and McArthur inspected and/or photographed several areas on 
Zvezda's exterior, including thrusters and nearby areas. They 
photographed a ham radio antenna and a fuel drain outlet pipe.

The spacewalkers inspected their suits, wiped off suit gloves and then 
jettisoned the towels before re-entering Pirs and closing its hatch.

This was the second spacewalk for Tokarev and the fourth for McArthur.
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