SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
Station Crew to Conduct Three Back-to-Back Spacewalks
The first of three spacewalks in nine days by International Space Station Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Sunita Williams began at 10:14 a.m. EST on Jan. 31.
The three spacewalks, from the Quest airlock in U.S. spacesuits, and a Russian spacewalk scheduled for Feb. 22 will be the most ever done by station crew members during an increment, said Mike Suffredini, station program manager.
ISS014-E-12565 : Mikhail Tyurin with spacesuit Image to right: Expedition 14 Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin works with an Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit in the Quest Airlock of the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA
+ Read more about EVA 6 http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition14/exp14_eva6.html
The first parts of the Feb. 4 spacewalk are similar to the previous one. Lopez-Alegria and Williams begin the tasks of the second spacewalk by reconfiguring the second of the two cooling loops serving Destiny from the temporary to the permanent system.
At the rats’ nest, Lopez-Alegria will reconfigure the fluid loop connections, moving the second pair of the fluid lines of the early system from the lab and connecting them back up to the Z1 panel. That will help enable reactivation of the early cooling system if it should be required.
Williams will reconfigure electrical connections. The job, like the similar activity on the first spacewalk, is expected to take about 1 hour, 45 minutes.
Next they will watch as the ground retracts the aft radiator of the P6. After retraction they will install another set of six cable cinches and two winch bars to secure the radiator and then install the shroud. Again, those tasks should take about 2 hours, 20 minutes.
Lopez-Alegria will then move to the end of PMA-1 to remove a sunshade from the Node Multiplexer-Demultiplexer (MDM), a data relay system. The area was in the sun during the time the station flew in a previous orientation. Now, with the station's orientation putting the lab in the direction of travel and its 18-inch window always facing the Earth, the sunshade is being removed to keep the MDM from getting too cold.
Lopez-Alegria will remove a single bolt to free the sunshade, then move with it a short distance on the PMA-1 and jettison it aft and a little to starboard.
Meanwhile, Williams will bring tools and cables to the forward end of the lab, where Lopez-Alegria will join her. Together they will finish routing and installation of the SSPTS cables.
Get-ahead tasks include photographing a connector on the end of PMA-2. Shuttle-station audio communication difficulties have been reported during recent shuttle missions. Engineers believe the connector might be affected by debris or corrosion.
On Feb. 8 Lopez-Alegria and Williams will move from the airlock out to Crew Equipment Transfer Aid carts on the rails of the main truss. Pushing the cart with their equipment, including a foot restraint, they move to the P3 Truss. Their first job is to remove two thermal shrouds from a Rotary Joint Motor Controller (RJMC) on P3.
Next they will remove the two large shrouds from P3 Bays 18 and 20. The shrouds, larger than king-size bed sheets, provide thermal shading. With the station in its present orientation, they are no longer needed. They are being removed to avoid trapping heat.
Spacewalkers will work together to fold each into a package a bit smaller than an outdoor garbage can and jettison them, aft and slightly downward.
The 2-hour, 40-minute shroud task will be followed by deployment of two Unpressurized Cargo Carrier Assembly Attachment Systems (UCCAS), one on the upper face of the P3 truss and the other on the lower face. The hour-long job is in preparation for attachment of a cargo carrier during a subsequent shuttle mission.
While Lopez-Alegria works on the second UCCAS, Williams will move out to the end of the P5 truss to remove two launch locks to prepare for the relocation of the P6 Truss.
Get-ahead tasks include removing a final camera stanchion from External Stowage Platform 3 and moving an auxiliary bag containing contingency items – among them tie-down tethers, cabling and connector caps. The bag will be placed near the airlock before the P6 is moved to the end of the port truss.
On Feb. 22, Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin are scheduled to do a spacewalk in Russian Orlan suits from the Pirs airlock. They will work on an antenna of the Progress 23 unpiloted cargo carrier, docked at the aft port of the Zvezda service module.
The antenna did not properly retract when that spacecraft docked in October. The spacewalkers will try to secure or remove the antenna to avoid its interfering with the undocking of P23 in April.