Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin will open the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment to begin their spacewalk Friday at 10:40 a.m. EDT. The duo will spend about 6.5 hours rigging cables for the future arrival of a Russian laboratory module and installing an experiment panel.
The cable work outside the station’s Russian segment prepares the orbital laboratory for the arrival of the “Nauka” Multipurpose Laboratory Module. The “Nauka” is planned for a launch atop a Russian Proton rocket to replace Pirs.
Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy will be isolated to the Poisk module and their Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft for the duration of the spacewalk. The hatches to Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and Russia’s Progress 52 resupply craft also will be closed during this time. The duo worked to configure the ATV since it is docked to the Zvezda service module.
While Misurkin and Yurchikhin are outside the station, Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano will be free to move about the U.S. segment of the orbital laboratory.
The spacewalk is the 172nd in support of station assembly and maintenance, the seventh in Yurchikhin’s career and the second for Misurkin. The two will venture outside Pirs again on Aug. 22 to replace a laser communications experiment with a platform upon which a small optical telescope will be mounted during a future spacewalk.
Cargo transfers continue from Japan’s “Kounotori-4” H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-4). Nyberg, Cassidy and Parmitano worked throughout the day removing cargo, reconfiguring packing gear and filling the HTV-4 with trash.
Nyberg and Cassidy started out their day inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory. The duo set up a sensor and cleaned ventilation grilles so they could measure the air velocity inside Kibo.
Nyberg then worked on a Japanese materials science experiment, Hicari, removing and replacing sample cartridges. Hicari takes place in the Kibo lab and uses a gradient heat furnace to produce high quality crystals that may advance the development of more efficient solar cells and semiconductor electronics.
Cassidy also configured and installed a GLACIER science freezer into an EXPRESS rack inside the Destiny laboratory. The ultra-cold freezer enables the storage of biological samples for later return and analysis by scientists on the ground.