Sunday, October 26, 2014

Expedition 41 Completes 3 EVAs in October

Astronaut Reid Wiseman prepares to exit the Station for a walk in space, October 7.

In one month, the crew of Expedition 41 aboard the ISS has completed three important EVAs to complete maintenance, science, and preparation goals. On October 7, 2014, astronauts Reid Wiseman (NASA) and Alexander Gerst (European Space Agency) completed a six-plus hour spacewalk that was the first US spacewalk for the year. It was the first spacewalk for both astronauts. Their first task was to move a failed water pump from a temporary holding location and place it in a more permanent spot on the outside of the station. Next, the pair replaced a lighting unit for a camera mounted on the US Destiny space module. Then Wiseman replaced a backup power unit for the mobile remote arm platform which is capable of traveling the length of the station truss. The pair then returned to the station.

Fish-eye lens view of Wiseman on the EVA.

October 14. Astronaut Barry Wimore (left) and astronaut Wiseman (right) prepare for a second EVA in October.

During a second American EVA on the 14th, Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore exited the station to replace a failed power channel. Their second job was to begin preparations for the long-term reconfiguration of the station. As the new Commercial-built spacecraft come on line, along with the new Orion capsule, the station will have some of its docking ports rearranged to increase the number of spacecraft which can dock with the ISS at the same time. The EVA lasted a bit over 6 hours. 

Russian cosmonauts outside the Zvesda module.

On EVA 40 (third of October and the last one scheduled for 2014), cosmonauts Maksin Suraev (commander) and Alexander Samokutyaev (flight engineer) successfully completed their spacewalk goals a couple of hours ahead of schedule! The first task was to remove the Radiometriya experiment from the exterior (having completed the experiment) and they gently shoved the item off from the station and into space. They next removed the cover from the Expose-R experiment, which tests certain biological samples in space. They then Moved two external communications antennas to a new location for improved performance. Finally they retrieved some samples by the Pirs airlock and returned to the station interior.

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