ISS Expedition 17 Mission Updates: Part 1

Successas Cosmonauts Return Home
15 July 2008 7:07 p.m. EDT

Thespacewalkers have both reentered the Pirs docking compartment and closed thehatch at 7:02 p.m. EDT (2302 GMT).

Volkovand Kononenko checked each other?s suits carefully for any signs of damage orcontamination before going into the hatch one after the other. They first tooksome time to rearrange some equipment tethered in and around the hatch.

Thecosmonauts joked with Russian mission control about extending the five hour,fifty four minute spacewalk to six hours. Mission controllers conveyed thanksfor the completion of the assigned tasks and the impromptu fix of the radioantenna, and remarked upon the July 10 spacewalk as well.

?Eventhe first attempt was perfect,? Russian mission control told the cosmonauts. ?Everythingwas done professionally.?

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkersHit Final Stretch
15 July 2008 6:42 p.m. EDT

Thetwo cosmonauts returned to the vicinity of the airlock to complete their finaltask by retrieving the Biorisk experiment.

Kononenkomoved to the experiment location and began removing the Biorisk containers,while Volkov retrieved a foot restraint from where it had been temporarilystowed.

Russianmission control warned the cosmonauts to ?be very careful around the Soyuzantenna,? as the two spacewalkers worked near the Soyuz spacecraft docked tothe space station.

Anyworries proved unfounded, as Kononenko returned the Biorisk containers to theairlock. Both cosmonauts are now preparing to enter the hatch.

Thespacewalk has reached its estimated time length of five and a half hours.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

CosmonautStraightens Out Ham Radio Antenna
15 July 2008 6:11 p.m. EDT

TheRussian spacewalkers have one scheduled task left, but Volkov took the opportunityto fix a ham radio antenna that had been disabled.

Russianmission control guided Volkov to the antenna location, where the space stationcommander straightened out the ham antenna and fitted it back into its verticalslot.

?Pleaselet me go home,? Volkov joked. ?I guess we?ve done it all for today??

Heand Kononenko will now turn to the final task of retrieving the Bioriskexperiment?s payload, which was installed on Expedition 15 last summer. Thatexperiment studies the effects of space radiation and zero G on microorganisms.

Volkov?spath to the radio antenna actually passed the work site, but neither he norRussian mission control realized that fact until the cosmonaut had alreadyreturned.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

BurstExperiment Comes Alive
15 July 2008 5:49 p.m. EDT

Volkovand Kononenko forged ahead with installing the Burst experiment by cutting awire that was holding them up, and routing the final clamp through the tangleof cables.

?Takea break,? Russian mission control told Kononenko. ?You can talk to Sergei[Volkov].?

Thecosmonauts took some time to relax and gaze upon the Earth for a bit.

?Thethunderstorms look beautiful,? one cosmonaut said.

Theyfinally received word that the Burst experiment had started functioning.

?Wehave telemetry,? said Russian mission control. ?Vsplesk is alive.?

Thecosmonauts are now removing protective covers from the radiators, beforejettisoning them.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkersTie Down Science Experiment
15 July 2008 5:24 p.m. EDT

Thetwo spacewalkers secured the ?Burst? experiment on the Russian segment of thespace station with hand-turned clamps and wire ties.

Volkovand Kononenko are now tying tethers to hand rails in order to support theexperiment, working through a mess of cables as they match each tether to theappropriate spots. They are also tightening clamps and attaching connectors.

?Arewe still making it, Sergei?? Kononenko asked at one point, checking on theschedule. They have one connector left.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow the missionusing SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkersStart Installing Physics Experiment
15 July 2008 4:43 p.m. EDT

Thespacewalkers have reached the location where they will install a new scienceexperiment on the Russian service module of the space station.

TheVsplesk or ?Burst? experiment is designed to measure the effects of high energyparticle streams and cosmic bursts. Volkov and Kononenko used a handrail tomove along the side of the module and reach the target area.

Acamera caught a view of some debris spinning away from the space station.Mission controllers are trying to determine whether it might be paint from thehandrails.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

CosmonautsStow Foot Restraint, Crane
15 July 2008 4:24 p.m. EDT

Kononenkohas returned to the main space station body, and the cosmonauts are now relocatingthe foot restraint from the Strela crane.

Thespacewalk has passed the three hour mark and remained ahead of schedule for themost part. However, a delay occurred when Volkov and Kononenko ran into troublewith one of the tethers while securing the Strela crane.

Thecosmonauts dealt with the tether and temporarily relocated the foot restraint,so they can now look forward to installing a new high-energy physics experimentcalled ?Burst? on the Russian segment of the space station.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow the missionusing SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

Finishingthe Photo Shoot
15 July 2008 3:43 p.m. EDT

Thetwo spacewalkers ran into some difficulty getting Kononenko in place to takepictures of the space station, but should remain on schedule barring furtherdelays.

?Iam in position, but there is no way to stop rotation,? Kononenko said, as hetried to keep himself steady on the end of the Strela crane and focus hiscamera. The cosmonaut gamely snapped images even as he and Volkov tried tonegotiate the best solutions with Russian mission control in Moscow.

Photographyfinally wrapped up, allowing Volkov to begin retracting the 50-foot Strela boomand bring Kononenko back to the main body of the space station.

Thecosmonauts will go on to reposition the foot restraint on the end of the crane.However, Russian mission control first wanted Kononenko to get a few additionalshots.

?Yes,take pictures of yourself,? a mission controller said. ?We love it.?

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

GoingOut on a Crane
15 July 2008 3:18 p.m. EDT

Thespacewalk is moving slightly ahead of schedule as the cosmonauts make their wayto the next work site.

Kononenkohas attached himself to the end of one of two Strela hand-powered cranes, asVolkov is slowly maneuvering him past one of the space station?s solar arrays.Kononenko has begun taking images for inspection as he struggles to positionhimself.

?Pleaseembrace the Strela boom with your legs,? someone advised.

?Idon?t even feel the button,? Kononenko said, trying to get the camera in place.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow the missionusing SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

Pausingto Take a Picture
15 July 2008 2:45 p.m. EDT

Thespacewalkers are taking pictures of the installed docking target before movingon to the removal and repositioning of a foot restraint attached to Strelacrane.

?Whenyou?re taking photographs, do not hurry,? Volkov instructed fellow spacewalkerKononenko, and added that the camera still had 200 shots. ?Take photographs toyour heart?s content.?

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

CosmonautsFloat on Past Two Tasks
15 July 2008 2:32 p.m. EDT

Thespacewalkers are performing an inspection of the mounting holes that will be usedfor the future installation of an antenna adapter, as part of the Kursautomated docking system.

Abrief discussion occurred about whether to trim away part of the spacestation?s insulation to gain better access to the work area.

Volkovand Kononenko also talked about watching the film White Sun of the Desert,a traditional viewing for cosmonauts before launch and one of the most popularRussian films.

Thecosmonauts are now packing up, after a brief scare where a tool appeared to flyaway before getting caught.

?Nothingcan escape from us,? one cosmonaut joked.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

DockingTarget in Place
15 July 2008 2:10 p.m. EDT

Thecosmonauts have reached the first work site and installed the docking target onthe zenith, or space-ward, side of the Russian Zvezda module.

Thework required the spacewalkers to lift up flaps and insert an adapter intomounting holes that hold the docking target. Volkov wielded a camera to takepictures of the installation process, but both cosmonauts appeared eager to geton with the spacewalk.

?Ok,we?re not going to waste too much time on that, Oleg,? Volkov said, aftertaking several pictures.

Kononenkoheld Volkov in place as the latter maneuvered a bit to get the docking targetin place. The cosmonauts are now moving on to their next task.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkersCommuting to Work Site
15 July 2008 1:50 p.m. EDT

Volkov(red stripes) and Kononenko (blue stripes) are organizing their tools andpreparing for the docking target installation outside the space station.

Kononenkois again sporting a helmet camera adapted from U.S. spacesuits, so that missioncontrollers can better see the ongoing work. The cosmonauts are floatingalongside one another as they work, unhooking and hooking their tethers as theymove along.

Onecosmonaut noted a difference between the handrail area outside the Russian moduleand the simulator they had worked with.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

CosmonautsStep Out
15 July 2008 1:30 p.m. EDT

BothRussian cosmonauts have exited the Pirs docking compartment to prepare for thefirst task of installing a docking target on the Zvezda module of the InternationalSpace Station.

Kononenkoexited first and received the adapter and docking target from Volkov inside theairlock. Kononenko then made his way to the Strela hand-powered crane, whichwill take him to the work site on the Russian module.

Volkovhas also just exited the airlock to prepare for his role in operating thecrane.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

TheHatch Opens
15 July 2008 1:14 p.m. EDT

Spacestation commander Sergei Volkov tapped the pressure gauge reading zero, before tellingflight engineer Oleg Kononkeno to open the hatch at 1:08 p.m. EDT (1708 GMT).

Thetwo Russian cosmonauts are first slated to install a docking target on theRussian Zvezda module, once they have exited the Pirs docking compartment.Kononenko will be first out the hatch.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkersDepressurizing Airlock
15 July 2008 12:54 p.m. EDT

TwoRussian cosmonauts are getting ready to head out on the second spacewalk oftheir careers.

Expedition17 space station commander Sergei Volkov and flight engineer Oleg Kononenko arereconfiguring and depressurizing the airlock to start their five and a halfhour spacewalk at 1:14 p.m. EDT (1714 GMT).

Theyconferred briefly with their third space station crewmate, U.S. astronaut GregChamitoff, who has secured himself inside the Soyuz spacecraft and will remainthere for the duration of the spacewalk.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

RussiansCelebrate Successful Spacewalk
10 July 2008 9:10 p.m. EDT

Thefirst-time spacewalkers have successfully completed the first of two jauntsoutside the space station.

Volkovand Kononenko secured the Strela hand-crane to the Pirs docking compartmentbefore going back into the space station and closing the hatch. They wereoutside for 6 hours, 18 minutes.

Russianmission controllers congratulated Volkov on becoming a ?full crew commander?after getting handed the ?grenade,? or pyro bolt.

Thecosmonauts will bring the pyro bolt back to Earth with them on October 23,riding the current Soyuz.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkAlmost Sewn Up
10 July 2008 8:03 p.m. EDT

Thecosmonauts have finished playing space tailor as they used wire ties andtethers to secure the thermal blanket.

Volkovand Kononenko have also jettisoned the covers that they used to protect theSoyuz thrusters from possible contamination during the spacewalk, when loosepieces of insulation may have floated off as Kononenko cut it away with theserrated knife.

Missioncontrollers are instructing the cosmonauts on how to use the Strela hand-craneto move back to the safety of the International Space Station.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

Spacewalkto Conclude with Blanket Installation
10 July 2008 7:21 p.m. EDT

Thetwo spacewalkers are spending the remainder of the spacewalk installing athermal blanket. That will help cover the insulation that was cut away to gainaccess to the suspect pyro bolt.

Missioncontrollers have decided to hold off on the secondary goal of the mission,which involved installing a spacewalk target on the Zvezda service module.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

CosmonautsSucceed in Removing Explosive Bolt
10 July 2008 6:48 p.m. EDT

Thecrowning moment of the spacewalk arrived as Volkov used a socket wrench to unscrewthe explosive pyro bolt from its housing.

Kononenkostood by with the blast-proof case to secure the bolt, while Russian missioncontrol asked the cosmonauts to count the number of turns with the socketwrench. An estimated 10 turns was needed to remove the bolt.

 ?Afterfive, please be very careful,? said a Russian mission controller.

Thecosmonauts paused at eight turns as they conferred on their plan of action, andthen cooperated to loosen the bolt and put it into its secure case.

?Good!Thank God, it is in? exclaimed one cosmonaut. The major objective was completedat 3 hours and 58 minutes into the spacewalk.

Russianmission control dictated a five minute break ?without any motions, withoutmoving.?

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkersExchange Places to Continue Work
10 July 2008 6:26 p.m. EDT

Spacestation commander Sergei Volkov exchanged places with flight engineer OlegKononenko as they prepared the pyro bolt for removal.

Thecosmonauts are using various tools to disconnect the electrical connector fromthe pyro bolts. The Soyuz spacecraft has five sections with two pyro bolts eachfire to separate the instrument and return modules.

Alocking ring that holds the pyro bolts in place has proved stubborn. Russianmission controllers instructed the cosmonauts to try and tear the ring off byforce, while also trying to ensure that they did not tire.

?Oleg,please let Sergei do it because you need a rest,? a Russian mission controllersaid, repeating his request several times.

Oneof the covers protecting the Soyuz thrusters had popped off earlier and wasdangling from its tether. Russian mission control has asked the spacewalkers toput it back on.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

CosmonautsApply ?Dino Cutters?
10 July 2008 5:52 p.m. EDT

Thespacewalkers have begun preparing the work area to remove one of the tenexplosive bolts that Russian engineers suspect as a cause for the Soyuz spacecraftmalfunctions.

Kononenkois applying a set of pliers called ?dino cutters? that will ground any staticelectricity from the area. That step helps prepare for eventually disconnectingthe explosive bolts on the Soyuz from the electrical connector.

Kononenkoand Volkov continue to work in fairly tight quarters, despite removing much ofthe insulation covering the area.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkersUse Knife to Cut Away Insulation
10 July 2008 5:16 p.m. EDT

Kononenkohas used a serrated knife to cut away all necessary insulation from the Soyuzspacecraft work site.

?Wefeel sorry for the vehicle.? Konenko joked.

?We?renot damaging it, we?re healing it,? fellow spacewalker Volkov replied. He hasnow reached the spacecraft to work alongside Kononenko.

Thecosmonauts worked to remove a locking ring and reach the pyro bolt thatrepresents the goal of this spacewalk.

Tenpyro bolts fire to separate the Soyuz modules and prepare the spacecraft forreentry. Russian engineers suspect that a faulty bolt may be behind recentmalfunctions that caused the two latest Soyuz missions to undergo ballisticreentry.

Volkovand Russian mission control kept careful watch on Kononenko?s work with theknife.

?Oleg,be more careful with the cutter,? Volkov warned. ?I?m concerned about yourgloves.?

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

CosmonautsBegin Work
10 July 2008 4:55 p.m. EDT

Thefirst spacewalker has reached the work site on the Soyuz spacecraft, and hasbegun examining the area for any possible signs of damage.

?Idon?t see anything expensive or criminal.? Kononenko said after glancing at thelocation between the Soyuz instrument module and descent module.

AfterVolkov maneuvered Kononenko closer to the site by using the hand crane, thelatter began taking photographs despite some trouble with sunlight reflectingin the viewer.

Volkovhas also begun making his way up the Strela hand crane toward the work site,while his crewmate started placing protective covers over the thrusters betweenthe Soyuz modules.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkUnderway Again
10 July 2008 4:38 p.m. EDT

SpacewalkerKononenko is now on his way to the work site on the Soyuz spacecraft.

Kononenkoencountered earlier difficulties getting into a foot restraint, which isdesigned to allow him to ride the 50-foot boom of the Strela crane to the worksite.

Russianmission control finally instructed the cosmonaut to improvise and tetherhimself to the crane. Fellow spacewalker Volkov operated the hand-powered craneto move Kononenko.

Thethird member of the space station crew, U.S. astronaut and flight engineer GregChamitoff, is sitting inside the Soyuz spacecraft for the duration of thesix-hour spacewalk in case of an emergency.

?Wecan probably go ahead and scare Greg a little through the window,? onecosmonaut joked.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk activities.

NASAis broadcasting the spacewalk live on NASA TV. You are invited to follow themission using SPACE.com?s NASA TV feed, which is available by clicking here or using thebutton at the left.

-- Jeremy Hsu

SpacewalkHeld Up By Foot Restraint Problems
10 July 2008 4:20 p.m. EDT

Volkovissued a stream of instructions to fellow spacewalker Kononenko, who isencountering difficulty getting into a foot restraint.

Kononenkowill use the foot restraint to ride a 50-foot hand-powered crane up to the mainwork site on the Soyuz spacecraft.

 ?Strange,I had it,? Kononenko said as he struggled to get his feet planted in the footrestraint. The cosmonaut cannot get both his feet into the foot restraint.

?Guys,let?s take a minute break,? a Russian mission controller interjected at onepoint.

Nearone hour and thirty minutes into the spacewalk, everyone was eager to get onwith the work at hand.

?We?rerunning short of time,? the mission controller said, suggesting a workaroundsolution.

Clickherefor a preview of today?s spacewalk acti

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