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Astronauts wrap up first spacewalk


ESA's Luca Parmitano rides Canadarm2 to an International Space Station worksite during Tuesday's Expedition 36 spacewalk. A NASA TV photo

WASHINGTON (BNS): Two crew members of the International Space Station (ISS) have completed a spacewalk lasting over six hours to conduct a range of maintenance tasks and prepare the orbital lab for the arrival of a new Russian module later this year.

NASA's Chris Cassidy and European Space Agency's Luca Parmitano began their space expedition at 8:02 am EDT (1200 GMT) on Tuesday.

After the duo exited the hatch, Cassidy moved to the top of the Z1 truss to remove and replace a Space-to-Ground Transmitter Receiver Controller. This unit, one of two that allows for two independent strings of Ku-band communication for video and data, failed in December 2012.

Meanwhile, Parmitano headed out to the Express Logistics Carrier-2 on the starboard truss segment and retrieved two experiments that were part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment-8. The scientific experiments are scheduled to return to Earth aboard the SpaceX-3 commercial cargo craft later this year, NASA said.

Cassidy meanwhile routed power cables to support the addition of the new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module scheduled to arrive at the space station in December.

The new module, known as 'Nauka' (or Science), will serve as a research facility, docking port and airlock for future Russian spacewalks and will replace the Pirs docking compartment.

The two astronauts carried out a range of other maintenance tasks before wrapping up their spacewalk at 2:09 pm EDT (1809 GMT).

The duo is slated to venture out of the space station once again on July 16 for another spacewalk to complete the Z1 Y-bypass jumper installation and route additional cables, NASA said.

Tags:

ISS  NASA  ESA  Spacewalk  

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