Saturday, August 24, 2013

ISS: Second Spacewalk in a week

Cosmonaut Misurkin during Thursday's EVA.

It's not easy to do two spacewalks in a week, but cosmonauts Misurkin and Yurchikhin just did that. On Thursday during a spacewalk of nearly six hours, they performed maintenance and inspections, and worked on a laser communications experiment until they discovered the base was loose and would require more planning and work than they had time for.

Congratulations to the Russians! Cosmonauts unfurl the flag of Russia during that nation's Flag Day.

Astronaut Nyberg works on the Combustion Integrated Rack.

During the last week the ISS crew continued station maintenance, EVA suit preparations, experiments, and normal spaceflight routines. Karen Nyberg worked on the Combustion Integration Rack, monitoring experiments in weightless combustion. She also performed experiments with the In-Space3 equipment, studying how certain fluids react in a magnetic field in zero-gravity.

Was the camera upside down? Parmitano at work.

Italian astronaut Parmitano installed an Ethernet hub in the Columbia module, and assisted astronaut Cassidy in testing air samples throughout the station for any possible biological contaminations. In a closed environment, it's essential to keep a lid on wastes and molds that could interfere with life support.

From Houston's MIssion Control, engineers began the task of moving the station's robotic arm to a different location near the Kibo module. They are preparing for moving experiments from the Japanese experiment rack to other parts of the station exterior.

UFO watchers go an unexpected sighting during the spacewalk as some strange object was seen by Chris Cassidy floating mysteriously near one of the Progress spaceships. It turned out to be an antenna cover.

Now it's an Identified Flying Object.

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