Space Station (ISS) Status 8/19/05
International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 11 crew members completed a spacewalk just days after the Station commander became the most experienced space traveler.
Thursday's 298 minute spacewalk by Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer John Phillips was the 62nd to support Station assembly and maintenance. It was the 34th from the Station and 16th from the Pirs docking compartment.
The crew's first job was retrieval of one of three canisters from the Biorisk experiment, a study of the impact of spaceflight on bioorganisms. It was installed on the Pirs module by Expedition 10 in January; other canisters will be retrieved on later spacewalks.
The crew moved to the large diameter section of the Zvezda module and prepared two experiment payloads for removal. The Micro-Particles Capturer uses aerogels and foam to collect natural and human-made orbital debris outside the Station. The Space Environment Exposure Device has samples of possible spacecraft materials like paint, insulation and lubricants, exposed to the low Earth orbit environment. Matroshka is a biomedical experiment collecting data on radiation absorption by crew members on long-duration missions, especially when spacewalking.
The crew moved aft of Zvezda to install a backup TV camera to assist docking the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle, a new cargo craft set to make its first flight next year. The crew documented the condition of the Kromka experiment, which measures residue from firing nearby jet thrusters. They also exchanged sample containers in the Russian materials' exposure experiment called SKK.
By the time the crew transported the experiments and their tools inside Pirs, they were about 45 minutes behind schedule. The estimated two hours necessary to complete the last task, relocation of a Strela cargo crane adapter from Zarya to Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 on the Unity node, caused Russian mission managers to postpone it until a later spacewalk.
Yesterday's spacewalk was Phillips' first and Krikalev's eighth. He collected 36 hours and 10 minutes spacewalking experience on seven excursions during two missions on the Russian MIR space station.
On August 16, at 1:44 a.m. EDT, Krikalev's total time in space surpassed Cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev's record of 747 days, 14 hours and 14 minutes. Krikalev flew two missions to Mir; two Shuttle missions; and two ISS missions.
The Station's Russian Vozdukh carbon dioxide removal system has been shut down since August 11. Russian specialists are working on a recovery plan. The Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) in the U.S. portion of the ISS, which has been scrubbing the air since Vozdukh's shut down, failed Thursday morning. It failed due to a stuck check valve, the latest instance of a known and understood problem.
The CDRA is being managed back to operation by flight controllers in Houston. The crew was informed carbon dioxide levels on the Station are well below dangerous levels. Plans call for Krikalev to perform troubleshooting on Vozdukh today.