The Expedition 12 crew prepared for the mission's first spacewalk and kept the station ship-shape this week. Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev are ready for their mission's first spacewalk which is scheduled for Monday morning.
Station Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev reviewed procedures and prepared tools for the spacewalk. It starts at 9:30 a.m. EST, Monday.
The spacewalk is the first using U.S. spacesuits since 2003. During the 5.5 hour spacewalk, the crew will install a TV camera on the station's port truss. The camera will be an important aid during future assembly work. The crew also will remove an old experiment from the top of the P6 truss, the station's highest point. The experiment measured the electrical environment around the station.
The station passed the milestone of five years of human presence aboard the complex.
The first station crew, Commander Bill Shepherd and cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko, arrived at the complex on Nov. 2, 2000.
The crew also focused on hardware maintenance. Monday they disassembled and measured air flow in the Trace Contaminant Control System. It keeps a clean, healthy atmosphere by filtering out contaminants in the air. Engineers noticed a reduction in the air flow, and after the crew examined its components, determined that replacement hardware may need to be delivered on a future supply ship. After reassembling the device, the system is running at a slightly reduced capacity, complemented by a fully operational and complementary system in the Russian segment.
The crew also replaced a faulty pump in a thermal control loop and smoke detectors in the Zvezda Service Module and cleaned ventilation filters in the Zarya module.
Explore further: SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth in ocean splashdown