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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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

Distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own

September 1, 2015

As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth. ...

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

August 27, 2015

We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars. If we find alien life, new questions will arise. ...

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.