Volume: 05, Issue: 09 02/14/2007 
Astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 14 flight engineer, participates in the first of three spacewalks in nine days, as construction continues on the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA.
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Flight Engineer Sunita Williams participates in the first of three spacewalks in nine days. Image credit: NASA.
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Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria is pictured outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk on February 8. Image credit: NASA.
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Other Articles in This Issue:
The Colorful Demise of a Sun-Like Star
Launch Week Arrives for THEMIS
Student Contests- Your Students Could Win a Trip To Space or Space Camp
History of Spaceflight and the Future of Human Space Exploration
 

Spacewalks Continue at the International Space Station

Despite a temporary power outage on the International Space Station on the morning of February 11, the Expedition 14 crew continues preparations for a February 22 spacewalk.

Cosmonaut Mikail Tyurin and astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria will exit the Russian Pirs docking compartment wearing Russian Orlan space suits. The spacewalkers will prepare a Progress 23 cargo craft for undocking. An antenna on the Progress 23 failed to retract properly when it docked in October 2006. The spacewalkers plan to remove the antenna or lash it down. Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin will also set up a materials science experiment on the outside of the Zvezda service module.

During the January 31 spacewalk, working at the “rats’ nest,” an area near the base of the Z1 Truss with numerous fluid and electrical connections, Lopez-Alegria reconfigured the fluid loop connections, moving two of the fluid lines from the early system from the lab and connecting them back up to the Z1 panel. Moving the fluid lines will help enable reactivation of the early cooling system if it should be required. He also connected a cable for the Space Shuttle Power Transfer System (SSPTS). The cable will allow power from the station’s solar arrays to be transferred to a docked space shuttle, beginning with STS-118 in June. One of two fluid lines were removed from the servicer, which will be jettisoned this summer.

On February 4, Commander Lopez-Alegria and astronaut Sunita Williams removed the second line and reconnected its end. Those tasks were to prepare to jettison the EAS the summer of 2007. Lopez-Alegria then photographed the inboard end of the P6 starboard solar wing, in preparation for its retraction during the STS-117 mission in March.

As of February 8, Michael Lopez-Alegria has accumulated 61 hours and 22 minutes over nine spacewalks. That is longer than any American astronaut and second only to Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solvyev. During that spacewalk, major tasks included removing and jettisoning two large shrouds and the installation of attachments for cargo carriers. The final scheduled task of the spacewalk was connecting four cables of the Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System (SSPTS) to Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 (PMA-2) at the forward end of the Destiny laboratory where shuttles dock. The SSPTS will allow visiting shuttles to take power from the station and thus extend their missions.

The three spacewalks from the Quest airlock in U.S. spacesuits and a Russian spacewalk scheduled for February 22 are the most ever done by station crew members during a single month. They will bring the total number of spacewalks by Lopez-Alegria to 10, an astronaut record. Williams will have a total of four, the most ever by a woman.

For more information, please visit the following websites:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition14/exp14_evas.html.

    
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