|Volume: 03, Issue: 17||08/24/2005|
Spacewalk Ends Early for Space Station CrewAn Aug. 18 spacewalk outside the International Space Station ended early for Expedition 11 commander Sergei Krikalev and flight engineer John Phillips. The two were ordered back inside the station by Russian flight controllers after completing all but one of their appointed tasks.
Originally scheduled to run six hours, the spacewalk lasted four hours and 58 minutes. Russian flight controllers decided to forgo the relocation of a grappling fixture for the station’s Strela boom – a two-hour job – after citing that the astronauts did not have enough consumables or time to complete the procedure. Krikalev and Phillips had fallen about 45 minutes behind schedule during the spacewalk. The last task, relocation of a Strela cargo crane adapter, will be conducted on a later spacewalk.
“Well it’s a pity, we had it planned, I think we could have done it,” Krikalev said, apparently disappointed. “If the decision is made, the decision is made.”
Krikalev and Phillips are in the fourth month of their six-month mission aboard the ISS. Thursday’s spacewalk marked the eighth EVA (extravehicular activity) for Krikalev, a veteran space flyer who now holds the record of the most cumulative days in space – he’s spent 750 days in orbit and counting. The spacewalk was a career first for Phillips.
The two astronauts retrieved several material exposure experiments for the Russian Biorisk experiment from the exterior of the station’s Zvezda service module. The experiment is designed to measure the effects of the space radiation environment on the human body for future exploration missions to the moon and Mars. They also installed a backup television camera at the docking port at the aft end of Zvezda to assist in docking operations for the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), an unmanned cargo ship used to haul food, supplies, and other equipment to the ISS.
This was the 62nd EVA aimed at maintaining and assembling the Space Station. It marked the 34th spacewalk staged from the ISS itself and the 16th EVA to begin at the Pirs docking compartment.
For more information about International Space Station activities, please visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html .
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