[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]



*International Space Station Status Report #06-51*
*12:15 a.m. CST, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2006*
*Expedition 13 Crew*

Two residents of the International Space Station ventured outside the 
complex Wednesday for a 5 hour, 38 minute spacewalk to reposition, 
deploy and relocate equipment and conduct a commercially sponsored 

With Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter inside to monitor systems, Expedition 
14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin 
opened the hatch to the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock at 6:17 p.m. 
CST as the station flew over the Atlantic Ocean near the west coast of 
Africa. They wore Russian Orlan spacesuits for the 19th spacewalk 
conducted out of Pirs since it was mated to the Russian segment of the 
station in September 2001 during Tyurin’s first flight as part of 
Expedition 3.

The start of the spacewalk was delayed more than an hour after Tyurin 
encountered a problem with a cooling hose for his spacesuit. He climbed 
out of the suit to reposition the hose, and uninterrupted cooling for 
the suit was restored.

After setting up tools and equipment outside Pirs, Tyurin placed a 
three-gram golf ball on a spring-mounted tee and clamped it onto the 
ladder next to the Pirs hatch. Appearing uncomfortable with his feet 
planted on the ladder, Tyurin used a gold-plated six-iron to tap the 
golf ball safely away from the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module. 
Tyurin said he was pleased with his golf shot, and Russian flight 
controllers chose not to have him hit another ball so the crew could 
tackle other tasks.

Tyurin’s golf shot was part of a demonstration for a commercially 
sponsored endeavor between a Canadian golf company and the Russian 
Federal Space Agency. The golf club and three balls were flown to the 
station on recent Russian Progress cargo ships. NASA's safety analysis 
showed that the balls will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up 
in about three days. The balls weigh only about as much as three 
one-dollar bills.

The two spacewalkers then moved to the end of Zvezda where the recently 
arrived ISS Progress 23 cargo ship is docked. Tyurin released a latch on 
one of the antennas for the craft’s Kurs automated rendezvous system 
that failed to retract when the Progress docked on Oct. 26. Tyurin and 
Lopez-Alegria attempted to move the so-called “orientation” antenna back 
to its retracted and stowed position with their hands and with a prybar, 
but the antenna would not budge. Russian flight controllers also sent 
commands to drive the antenna to its retracted position, but that also 

The spacewalkers took a number of pictures to send to Russian engineers, 
who will evaluate options for freeing the stuck antenna on a future 
spacewalk. The engineers surmise something may be frozen in the linkage 
for the antenna’s drive mechanism, preventing it from moving.

While at the aft of Zvezda, Tyurin and Lopez-Alegria spent a few minutes 
removing and repositioning one of several communications antennas 
previously installed around the module’s docking port. This will assist 
the docking of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle that will be 
launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana next year.

In its previous location, the antenna partially blocked the opening of 
one of Zvezda’s engine covers. The antenna was reinstalled less than a 
foot from its original position, out of the way of future operations 
with the engine.

Next, Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin moved to the top of the forward section 
of Zvezda to install an experiment called “BTN-Neutron” that will 
measure the volume of neutron particles emitted by solar flares that 
reach low Earth orbit. The crew wrapped up its work by jettisoning a 
pair of thermal covers for the experiment that will be tracked by flight 
controllers to ensure they pose no possibility of hitting the station or 
the shuttle Discovery that is scheduled for an assembly mission to the 
station in a few weeks.

It was the 73rd spacewalk in support of station assembly and maintenance 
totaling 444 hours and 14 minutes of time outside the outpost and the 
first of four scheduled during Expedition 14. The spacewalk was the 
sixth in Lopez-Alegria’s career and the fourth for Tyurin.

The next station status report will be issued Dec. 1, or earlier if 
events warrant. For more about the crew's activities and station 
sighting opportunities, visit:


Sent via sarex@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/sarex