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Four Spacewalks Planned For ISS Crew

Expedition 14 Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin holds camera equipment as he floats in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA
by Staff Writers
UPI Correspondent
Houston (UPI) Jan. 26, 2007
The crew aboard the International Space Station is preparing for a record four spacewalks during the next month, NASA said Friday. NASA astronauts Mike Lopez-Alegria and Suni Williams were scheduled to begin a 6 1/2-hour spacewalk Jan. 31. The two astronauts were also scheduled to conduct spacewalks Feb. 4, Feb. 8 and Feb. 22, NASA said.

The astronauts will use U.S. spacesuits and the station's Quest airlock for the first three spacewalks. On the fourth spacewalk, Lopez-Alegria and cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin will use Russian spacesuits and exit the space station from the Pirs airlock.

NASA said the three U.S. spacewalks will rearrange the station's cooling system, while the Russian spacewalk will free a stuck antenna.

NASA said that as the astronauts have been preparing for their spacewalks, the nitrogen was discharged from a SAFER jetpack. The nitrogen-powered packs enable astronauts to fly back to the station if they become separated from it.

NASA said there was an extra pack on board, so the loss of the jetpack didn't interfere with the upcoming spacewalks.

earlier related report
Crew Unloads Supplies, Preps for Spacewalk
The Expedition 14 crew members began the week unloading more than 2.5 tons of supplies that were delivered to the station by the ISS Progress 24 cargo craft. Supplies included food, gifts from home, clothing, spare parts, oxygen and water.

The crew members also started preparations for the upcoming spacewalks, with the first spacewalk scheduled for January 31. They readied the spacesuits to be worn by Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Sunita Williams.

Lopez-Alegria and Williams also used computer-based training to refresh their skills with the Simplified Aid For Extravehicular Activity Rescue (SAFER) jetpack. The SAFER backpack allows spacewalkers to fly themselves back to the station in the event they become untethered and separated from the complex.

The crew took time out from their work on Monday to speak with television host Martha Stewart. They also took time to field questions from schools in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and another in Winnebago, Neb. by amateur radio.

Related Links
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Expedition 14 Talks To Martha Stewart
New York NY (SPX) Jan 23, 2007
Martha Stewart, homemaking expert and popular television personality, chatted with the crew of Expedition 14 Monday morning. The event started at 11:40 a.m. EST and was shown on NASA TV. Stewart asked the Expedition crew members about their experiments on station, the view of Earth from their vantage point, and life in their orbital home away from home.

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