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ISS Crew Complete Hour Space Walk As Next Shuttle Crew Conduct Dry Countdown

Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria in front of the Pirs docking compartment toward the end of the spacewalk on Feb. 22. Image credit: NASA TV
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Feb 22, 2007
Two astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) did a six-hour space walk on Thursday to repair an antenna on a refuelling vessel, Russia's space flight control centre said. "The American astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and his Russian colleague Mikhail Tyurin opened the station's airlock at 13:27 Moscow time (10:27 GMT) and left the station," a spokesman at the centre, Valery Lyndin, told AFP.

The astronauts delayed the spacewalk by half an hour but still managed to complete it on schedule, as they "worked with new powerful lamps when the station was in the shadow," thus using the time normally left for rest, Alexander Poleshchuk of the RKK Energiya space agency said as quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency.

The astronauts fixed the antenna of the Progress M-58 refuelling vessel, completed work on equipment due to be used in docking with the European cargo shuttle, and activated a new telescope recently installed on the exterior of the station that will track the flow of neutrons in space.

The antenna created problems when the vessel docked at the ISS in October and could cause additional difficulties when it departs in April, Lyndin had explained.

The third astronaut on the station, American Sunita Williams, stayed aboard the ISS during the space walk.

earlier related report
Shuttle crew excited and ready to go
Cape Canaveral (UPI) Fla., Feb. 22 - The crew of U.S. space shuttle Atlantis met with reporters Thursday during the first day of their "dry countdown" leading to their March 15 launch.

STS-117 Commander Rick Sturckow opened the briefing by saying: "It's good to be down in Florida for the dry countdown and our crew is very excited. This means we're getting close to launch and we're going to be ready to go."

The astronauts answered questions about their mission roles and the challenges they'll face in space while continuing construction at the International Space Station.

When asked about the team's readiness for this complex mission, Sturckow answered: "We've already achieved a very good proficiency. We've had excellent training for about the last nine months."

Thursday's training activities included emergency exiting exercises from the 195-foot level of the launch pad, familiarization with the security of the payload, and several safety briefings. The day's schedule also included additional shuttle training aircraft flights for Sturckow and shuttle pilot Lee Archambault.

The full launch dress rehearsal, known as the terminal countdown demonstration test, is typically carried out a few weeks before a shuttle's launch.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Source: United Press International
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Soyuz TMA-10 Spacecraft To Launch Expedition 15 Crew To ISS On April 7
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Feb 22, 2007
A Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft with 15th International Space Station (ISS) expedition will be launched April 7, 2007 from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Russian Space Agency said Tuesday. The 15th ISS expedition comprises two Russian astronauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov and U.S. millionaire Charles Simonyi, who is set to fly to the ISS as a space tourist.

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