Text Size

Cosmonauts Wrap Up Debris-Panel Spacewalk
Kotov, Yurchikhin during the second spacewalk of Expedition 15 Two International Space Station cosmonauts wound up a spacewalk of 5 hours, 37 minutes from the Pirs docking compartment airlock at 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday. They installed a section of Ethernet cable on the Zarya module, installed additional Service Module Debris Protection (SMDP) panels on Zvezda, and deployed a Russian scientific experiment.

Image at right: Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov (left) and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin work outside the International Space Station during their second spacewalk. Image credit: NASA TV

Five SMDP panels were installed by station Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov on May 30. During that 5-hour, 25-minute spacewalk they also rerouted a Global Positioning System antenna cable. On today's spacewalk they bolted 12 additional panels into place. They also installed the Ethernet cable on the Zarya module and a Russian experiment called Biorisk on Pirs.

Yurchikhin again was the lead spacewalker, EV1, wearing the Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes. Kotov, EV2, wore the suit with blue stripes. This was the second spacewalk for both.

Out of the airlock, the first task was to install the Russian scientific experiment, called Biorisk. It looks at the effects of microorganisms on structural materials used in space. They attached it to the outside of Pirs.

Next the cosmonauts moved forward with a ribbon cable reel holding the Ethernet cable. They installed that section of cable on Zarya. It is the first of two sections. The second will be installed later. Once both are in place and functioning, computer capabilities of the station should be increased considerably.

After the cable installation, they moved aft to the forward end of the Zvezda Service Module. There they removed one of two SMDP bundles remaining on the "Christmas Tree," an adaptor that initially had three bundles attached. It was stowed at the Unity Node on Pressurized Mating Adaptor No. 3 (PMA-3). Yurchikhin maneuvered Kotov, on the end of the Strela manually operated crane, to the Christmas Tree during the May 30 spacewalk.

Kotov retrieved it and stowed it on Zvezda, where they installed five SMDP panels on May 30. The aluminum panels vary in size but are about an inch thick. They typically measure about 2 by 3 feet and weigh 15 to 20 pounds. Initially, the spacewalkers tethered the first of today's bundles to handrails.

Expedition 15 spacewalk Image to left: During the May 30 spacewalk, Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov guides a bundle of debris panels. Image credit: NASA TV

Yurchikhin and Kotov opened the first bundle and install its panels on Zvezda's conical section, the area between Zvezda's large and small diameters, to join the five they installed May 30. Another six panels had been bolted into place there in 2002.

Once that was done, they opened the remaining bag and installed its six panels.

Six SMDP panels were installed during an Aug. 16, 2002, spacewalk by Expedition 5 Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson. Those panels were delivered to the station by Endeavour during STS-111 in June 2002. The remaining three bundles and their adaptor were delivered by Discovery during STS-116 last December and attached to PMA-3 by spacewalkers Bob Curbeam and Sunita Williams.

With the installation of the SMDP panels completed today, Yurchikhin and Kotov moved back to Pirs and returned to the airlock. Closure of its hatch marked the official end of the spacewalk.

Flight Engineer Suni Williams served as intravehicular officer for the second spacewalk, as she did for the first.