Space station astronauts 'spacewalk' in airlock

June 10, 2009

(AP) -- Two international space station crewmen squeezed into a small airlock Wednesday and moved a docking mechanism to accommodate a research module expected to arrive later this year.

American Michael Barratt and Russian Gennady Padalka entered the transfer compartment in the station's Russian-made Zvezda service module 10 minutes behind schedule because of initial problems with pressure inside the airlock, which did not fall as fast as expected.

But they got the job done quickly and emerged from the cramped airlock after 12 minutes.

"Excellent, Michael, good going," Padalka told Barratt at one point, after his crewmate removed the docking cone from its initial position.

While they were not in open space, Padalka and Barratt had to wear space suits in the depressurized compartment and the operation was considered a spacewalk - the 125th conducted for construction and maintenance of the 10-year-old station.

The bulky suits made for a tight fit in the 9-by-5 foot (2.75-by-1.5 meter) airlock.

"You need to move down even more, I think there's more space at the bottom," one of the men said at one point. "No, there's no more room," came the reply.

It was the eighth space walk for Padalka, a veteran of the Soviet-built Mir space station who has spent more than 27 hours on spacewalks.

It was Barratt's second. He and Padalka conducted a nearly five-hour on Friday that was also part of preparations for the arrival of the Russian Mini Research Module-2 later this year. The module will serve as an additional docking port for Russian vehicles.

The station's permanent crew doubled to six last month and currently comprises two Russians, an American, a Canadian, a Japanese and a Belgian.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Station Crew Completes Successful Spacewalk

Related Stories

Station Crew Completes Successful Spacewalk

March 28, 2005

International Space Station crewmembers wound up a successful spacewalk Monday morning, finishing preparations to welcome the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). They closed the airlock hatch at 5:55 a.m. EST to end their mission's ...

Spacewalk begins after CO2 in spacesuits delay

June 5, 2009

(AP) -- Two international space station crew members began a spacewalk Friday, despite initial concerns about high carbon dioxide levels in their redesigned Russian space suits.

Delayed spacewalk ends successfully

June 5, 2009

(AP) -- Two international space station crew members wrapped up a successful spacewalk Friday, the first since the size of the station's crew expanded from three to six last month.

Russian Spacewalk to Prepare for New Module Complete

June 5, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- International Space Station Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike Barratt completed a spacewalk at 8:46 a.m. EDT Friday to prepare the Zvezda service module for the arrival of a new Russian module. ...

Recommended for you

35 years on, Voyager's legacy continues at Saturn

August 25, 2016

Saturn, with its alluring rings and numerous moons, has long fascinated stargazers and scientists. After an initial flyby of Pioneer 11 in 1979, humanity got a second, much closer look at this complex planetary system in ...

Rocky planet found orbiting habitable zone of nearest star

August 24, 2016

An international team of astronomers including Carnegie's Paul Butler has found clear evidence of a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Solar System. The new world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool ...

WISE, Fermi missions reveal a surprising blazar connection

August 24, 2016

Astronomers studying distant galaxies powered by monster black holes have uncovered an unexpected link between two very different wavelengths of the light they emit, the mid-infrared and gamma rays. The discovery, which was ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.