Headlines > News > Station Spacewalkers to Deploy Nanosatellite, Install and Retrieve Science

Station Spacewalkers to Deploy Nanosatellite, Install and Retrieve Science

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:19 pm via: NASA
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Two Expedition 40 spacewalkers are venturing outside the International Space Station Monday to deploy a nanosatellite, retrieve and install experiment packages and inspect components on the exterior of the orbital laboratory.

Expedition 40 Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev opened the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment at 10:02 a.m. EDT to mark the official start of their planned 6.5-hour spacewalk. Skvortsov is wearing the Russian Orlan spacesuit bearing red stripes, while Artemyev’s suit has blue stripes.

Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev deploys the Chasqui 1 nanosatellite outside the Pirs docking compartment near the beginning of Monday's spacewalk.  Image Credit: NASA TV

Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev deploys the Chasqui 1 nanosatellite outside the Pirs docking compartment near the beginning of Monday's spacewalk. Image Credit: NASA TV

The cosmonauts’ spacesuits are outfitted with U.S. helmet cameras on loan from their NASA crewmates to provide the ground team with first-person views of the spacewalk activities. The view from Skvortsov’s helmet camera can be distinguished by the number 18 in the corner. Artemyev’s helmet camera displays the number 17.

Artemyev deployed a Peruvian nanosatellite designed to take pictures of the Earth with a pair of cameras and transmit the images to a ground station. The project is part of an effort by the National University of Engineering in Peru to gain experience in satellite technology and emerging information and communication technologies.

The spacewalkers will attach a handrail clamp holder for the Automatic Phased Array antenna on the conical section of the Zvezda service module. Skvortsov and Artemyev set up that communication systems antenna during their first spacewalk on June 19.

While on Zvezda, they will install the EXPOSE-R2 experiment package, a European Space Agency-sponsored suite of experiments. The package includes two astrobiology studies that will investigate biomaterials and extremophiles – organisms that are tolerant of environmental extremes. Results from these experiments may contribute to life-detection strategies for future robotic exploration of Mars.

The cosmonauts also will set up the Plume Impingement and Deposit Monitoring unit on the Poisk Mini Research Module-2.

Skvortsov and Artemyev are slated to retrieve several science packages designed to expose a variety of materials to the harsh environment of space. While on Poisk, they will remove one cassette and install another on a materials experiment known by its Russian acronym SKK. The spacewalkers also will retrieve a panel of sample materials from the Vinoslivost payload.

The retrieval of a Biorisk experiment container outside Pirs will complete the science package roundup for the two cosmonauts. Biorisk studies the effects of microbes on spacecraft structures.

Skvortsov and Artemyev also will take surface samples from window on Zvezda and photograph the multi-layer insulation on the exterior of the Russian segment.

During the spacewalk, Commander Steve Swanson will be isolated to the Poisk module and his Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft docked there due to the closure of hatches in support of the excursion. Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev arrived at the station March 27 aboard that Soyuz. Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman, Alexander Gerst and Max Suraev will have access to much of the remaining area of the station, including the Zarya module, their Soyuz TMA-13M vehicle and the Rassvet module to which it docked on May 28, as well as the entirety of the U.S. segment of the station.

Monday’s spacewalk is the 181st in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

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