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ISS Astronauts Complete Spacewalk, Test New Russian Spacesuits

A spacewalker attached to the Russian Strela crane rises above the International Space Station to photograph work completed on the Zvezda Service Module. Credit: NASA TV
by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jun 08, 2009
Two astronauts aboard the International Space Station conducted a five-hour spacewalk on Friday to install new equipment and test new Russian-made spacesuits, Russia's Mission Control said.

Russian commander Gennady Padalka and U.S. flight engineer Michael Barratt, wearing Orlan-MK computerized spacesuits, installed three antennas for the Kurs auto-docking system to receive a Russian MIM-2 small research module, which will be delivered on board the next Progress cargo spacecraft.

The Orlan-MK's main improvement is the mini-computer in the Portable Life Support System backpack, which processes data from the spacesuit's various systems and issues a warning in the event of a malfunction. It then outlines a contingency plan that is displayed on an LCD screen attached to the right breast of the spacesuit.

Astronauts previously had to memorize their responses to emergency situations.

During the current 180-day mission, the six-member ISS crew will receive and unload three Russian Progress craft and a Japanese HTV-1 space freighter and carry out a series of scientific experiments.

The second of the two scheduled spacewalks is set for June 10, when Padalka and Barratt will work in the depressurized docking bay of the Zvezda module to install a docking cone for MIM-2.

Source: RIA Novosti

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