The International Space Station’s six residents were preparing for Thursday’s spacewalk while continuing more science and maintenance aboard the orbital laboratory.
Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev began Monday morning setting up their Russian Orlan spacesuits. NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman assisted the duo installing U.S. lights and television cameras on the suits. The cosmonaut pair later checked the suits’ telemetry and communications gear.
The spacewalkers will exit the Pirs docking compartment Thursday at 9:50 a.m. EDT for about six hours and 30 minutes of work outside the Russian segment of the station. They will install an antenna, swab samples from a window on the Zvezda service module and switch out science experiment gear.
After the suit work, Wiseman subjected himself to medical analysis as he wore a portable digital electrocardiograph to measure his cardiac autonomic function for 48 hours. Commander Steve Swanson then assisted Wiseman with his periodic health evaluation.
In the afternoon, Wiseman logged what he ate for lunch then collected his blood and urine samples for stowage in a science freezer. He then turned his attention to a pair of U.S. spacesuits troubleshooting their lithium-ion battery chargers.
German astronaut Alexander Gerst, from the European Space Agency, worked throughout the day on the Burning and Suppression of Solids combustion study. He conducted two flame tests inside the Destiny lab module’s Microgravity Science Glovebox with assistance from investigators on the ground. The experiment seeks to provide insight on how flames burn in space compared to Earth which may provide fire safety benefits aboard future spacecraft.
Swanson collected water samples from a potable water dispenser for inflight analysis after a morning exercise session. He then removed and replaced an air hose and liquid indicator from the Tranquility node’s bathroom, or Waste and Hygiene Compartment before lunchtime.
Later the commander performed some maintenance work on the Advanced Colloids Experiment cleaning the work area after an experiment sample was broken during an earlier mixing session. After that work, Swanson was back inside the Tranquility node replacing a heat exchanger and purging a Sabatier accumulator.
Flight Engineer Max Suraev began his morning readying the Pirs docking compartment for his spacewalking crewmates. Afterward he assisted Skvortsov and Artemyev with Orlan suit emergency tasks in the unlikely event of a pressure leak inside Pirs. Later he looked down on Earth for the Uragan investigation photographing natural and man-made conditions to help scientists forecast potential disasters.