Russian spacewalkers encounter faulty equipment (Update 2)

August 22, 2013 by Marcia Dunn
In this image from video made available by NASA, cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin, left, and Aleksandr Misurkin wave a Russian flag near the end of their spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA)

A pair of spacewalking Russian cosmonauts installed a new telescope mount on the International Space Station on Thursday, despite a flaw in the device.

Fyodor Yurchikhin and Aleksandr Misurkin—making their second spacewalk in under a week—initially gave up trying to plug in the platform for a yet-to-be-launched telescope.

Yurchikhin and Misurkin reported that the base of the platform appeared to be misaligned because it wasn't assembled properly on the ground. The problem could prevent the future telescope from pointing in the right direction.

But engineers with Russian Mission Control determined the misalignment could be overcome at a later date.

The swiveling platform will hold an optical telescope that will be launched in November and installed by spacewalking cosmonauts.

The spacewalkers also unfurled and waved a Russian flag that they took out in honor of Russia's Flag Day. "Now we can see the flag of our Motherland," one of the cosmonauts said in an impromptu speech.

The cosmonauts also ran into some difficulty tightening some antenna covers.

Because of a flyaway cover earlier this week, the cosmonauts double-checked the remaining shields to make sure they were secure. At least two were loose, one by a lot.

NASA said the lost cover posed no risk to the space station.

In this image from video made available by NASA, cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Aleksandr Misurkin participate in a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA)

The U.S. space agency, meanwhile, has suspended all U.S. spacewalks while the investigation into last month's near-drowning continues. An Italian astronaut's helmet filled with water during a spacewalk on July 16. He barely made it back inside. The water is believed to have originated from the suit's cooling system.

The spacesuits used by the Russians are different.

This was the 173rd spacewalk at the space station. The four other space station residents—two Americans, one Italian and another Russian—watched the spacewalk from inside.

As for the defective spacesuit of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, NASA said it will return part or all of the outfit early next year on a commercial SpaceX capsule.

Explore further: Two Russian cosmonauts complete spacewalk

More information: NASA:

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not rated yet Aug 22, 2013
Wow, having your helmet fill up with water would be horrible. The water would be floating all around, so you couldn't even tilt you head to get a space to breathe. Once it gets even half way full, you'd have trouble finding a clear space to take a breath that didn't have water in it.
not rated yet Aug 23, 2013
I'l take the Russian suit, please.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2013
I wonder what they did to contain all that loose water after they got him out of that helmet? I'm sure you don't want water just floating around the cabin, and I'll bet they were in a hurry to get that helmet off.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2013
I'l take the Russian suit, please

From the following wiki page:


Voskhod 2 featured the world's first spacewalk, by Alexei Leonov. After his twelve minutes outside, Leonov's spacesuit had inflated in the vacuum to the point where he could not reenter the airlock. He opened a valve to allow some of the suit's pressure to bleed off, and was barely able to get back inside the capsule after suffering slight effects of the bends. Because the spacecraft was so cramped, the crew could not keep to their reentry schedule and landed 386 km off course in deep forest. They had to spend a night in their capsule due to the danger of bears and wolves

I especially like the bears and wolves thing. How ironic would that have been. The world's first space-walking human survives his mission, only to be eaten by a bear upon landing. Ouch.

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