Two Russian cosmonauts will venture outside the International Space Station on Jan. 21 to complete installation of a new high-speed data transmission system, remove an old plasma pulse experiment, install a camera for the new Rassvet docking module and retrieve a materials exposure package.
Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka are scheduled to float outside the Pirs airlock at 9:20 a.m. EST to begin the six-hour excursion. Both spacewalkers will wear Russian Orlan-MK spacesuits.
Kondratyev will be designated as Extravehicular 1 (EV1), with a red stripe on his suit, and Skripochka will be EV2, with a blue stripe on his suit. Skripochka also will wear a NASA-provided wireless television camera system and helmet lights to provide live point-of-view video to Mission Control-Moscow, which will provide ground support for the spacewalk. Mission Control-Houston will monitor the spacewalk as well.
Before the spacewalk begins, Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri will climb into their Soyuz 24 spacecraft, which is docked to the Poisk module on the opposite side of Zvezda from the airlock, and seal the hatches between Zvezda and Poisk. This protects against the unlikely possibility of a sudden station depressurization and also allows for the use of the forward portion of Zvezda as a backup airlock if necessary. Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli will be in the U.S. segment and will have access to their Soyuz 25 spacecraft, which is docked to the Rassvet module adjacent to Pirs on the Zarya control module, therefore they do not need to be sequestered.
As a sunrise dawns on the station, Kondratyev and Skripochka will open the Pirs hatch and begin exiting the Russian segment of the station. They’ll take with them a spacewalk tool carrier, an antenna and cable reel for the data transmission system, and protective covers for the experiments they will bring back inside the station. All will be temporarily affixed to the Zvezda service module’s exterior for handy access near the respective work sites.