MOSCOW, April 19 (Itar-Tass) – Russians from the crew of Expedition 35/36 of the International Space Station (ISS) – flight engineers Roman Romanenko and Pavel Vinogradov, on Friday perform this year’s first spacewalk under the program of the Russian segment of the ISS.
“Roman Romanenko and Pavel Vinogradov are to open hatches of the Pirs docking module and start EVA at 18:00 MSK, they will return to the ISS at midnight,” the Mission Control Centre (MCC) outside Moscow told Itar-Tass.
The two cosmonauts will work outside the station in the Orlan-MK computerised spacesuits with LCDs on the chest, which “prompt” them what systems and in what sequence they should check before the spacewalk, and what to do in case of a contingency.
Flight engineer Romanenko will for the first time work overboard the ISS. The Russian admitted at a pre-flight press conference held in Baikonur in December 2012 that he was looking forward to it.
Vinogradov, in contrast to his colleagues, can be called the leader of extravehicular activity. During its first orbital mission - from August 5, 1997 to February 19, 1998 - he made five spacewalks totalling 25 hours and 19 minutes. He performed one more spacewalk in 2006. Thus, Vinogradov will for the seventh time leave the space station to work in outer space.
During the work on the ISS exterior the cosmonauts are to fulfil a number of tasks. First, they will install equipment on the outside of the station for the Obstanovka (Environment) experiment, then will replace a faulty retro-reflector device, which is used in the implementation of spacecraft docking manoeuvres to the ISS. In addition, they will dismantle the first container of the Bio-Risk experiment and one of the panels on the Vynoslivost experiment.
While at the far end of Zvezda, Vinogradov and Romanenko will replace a faulty retro-reflector device, one of a suite of navigational aids that will provide assistance to the European Space Agency’s Albert Einstein Automated Transfer Vehicle 4 cargo ship during its final approach for an automated docking to the space station in June, NASA reported. This spacewalk will be the 167th in support of space station assembly and maintenance, the seventh for Vinogradov and the first for Romanenko. Both spacewalkers will wear spacesuits marked by blue stripes. Romanenko’s suit will be equipped with a helmet camera to provide close up views of the spacewalk activity as it progresses. This is the first of as many as six Russian spacewalks planned for this year.
The rest of the crew of ISS Expedition 35/36 - Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Christopher Cassidy and the Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield - will assist their colleagues from the station.
The planned duration of the EVA is 6 hours, the MCC specified.