The members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 24 crew shifted their sleep schedule Monday in preparation for their mission's first spacewalk, waking up at about 2:40 p.m. EDT.
Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin, a veteran of three spacewalks in 2007 during Expedition 15, and Mikhail Kornienko, a spacewalk rookie, will perform the six-hour spacewalk. The pair will exit the Pirs docking compartment and work outside the Zarya and Zvezda modules. The Pirs Docking Compartment hatch is slated to open at 11:45 p.m. to begin the excursion.
The pair will outfit the Rassvet module’s Kurs automated rendezvous system, install cables and remove and replace a video camera. Kurs is a Russian radio telemetry system that allows automated dockings of unmanned spacecraft such as the Progress resupply vehicle. The new video camera will document the rendezvous and docking of future Automated Transfer Vehicles to the aft end of the Zvezda service module.
The next spacewalk will take place Aug. 5 with Flight Engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Doug Wheelock. The astronauts will exit the Quest airlock and install a Portable Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) on the Zarya module extending the reach of Canadarm2, the station’s robotic arm, and increasing a spacewalker’s capabilities. They also will jettison old multi-layer insulation removed for the PDGF install and mate power connectors to Zarya.
Flight controllers will decide Tuesday whether or not to proceed with the robotic work by the Dextre Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator to replace a failed Remote Power Control Module, or RPCM, on the station’s P1 truss. The RPCM replacement was slated for July 21, but during a test extraction procedure on July 20, ground teams determined that the force needed to remove the RPCM was higher than demonstrated with ground testing. The team is working towards the next attempt of the test extraction on Wednesday and the full replacement procedure Thursday of this week pending Tuesday’s review.
Explore further: Station Crew Prepares for Thursday Spacewalk