The Expedition 9 crew, Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke, spent their seventh week aboard the Station continuing to prepare for their first spacewalk, now under consideration to be conducted June 24.
Managers decided today to reschedule the planning date for the spacewalk from June 15 and discussed a possible new planning date of June 24. Formal management approval of a new planning date is expected next week. The rescheduling will move the activity into a better period of the crew's workday, optimize communications coverage and provide additional planning time. The time of day to conduct the spacewalk changes each day as the times the Station will pass over Russian ground communications sites change. The new schedule also allows additional time for ground teams to continue the development of the spacewalk procedures. Managers plan to review all preparations for the spacewalk at a normal Stage Operations Readiness Review planned for June 21.
Padalka and Fincke gathered tools and began work with their spacesuits this week to prepare for the spacewalk, which is planned to restore power to one of the complex's Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs), devices that help maintain the Station's orientation as it orbits Earth. During the venture outside, the crew is planned to replace a Remote Power Control Module, or circuit breaker, that failed April 21, removing power from the one CMG. However, two CMGs have remained operating well, safely controlling the orientation of the Station. The crew began their work this week by charging batteries of the Pistol Grip Tool, a type of spacewalking power wrench, and familiarizing themselves with the tool's operation as it will be used during the spacewalk. Other activities included replacing batteries, filters, helmet lights and other routine parts in the Russian Orlan spacesuits that will be used for the spacewalk. They also unstowed personal garments such as socks, gloves, and cooling garments; sized the spacesuits; and peformed procedures to ensure no excess gas is present in the spacesuits' water and gas separation systems.
Both crewmembers also participated in cardiovascular evaluation sessions on the Russian stationary bicycle aboard the Station. The checks are part of standard spacewalk preparations.
Information on the crew's activities aboard the Space Station, future launch dates, as well as Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, is available on the Internet at:
Details on Station science operations can be found on an Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at:
The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, June 18, or earlier if events warrant.
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