Clad in Russian Orlan spacesuits, Expedition 36 Flight engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin opened the hatch to the the International Space Station's Pirs docking compartment on Friday (Aug. 16) to begin a planned 6.5 hour spacewalk at 9:39 a.m. CDT (1439 GMT). The duo's tasks include rigging cables for the future arrival of a Russian laboratory module and installing an experiment panel.
The cosmonauts first set up a Strela cargo boom on the Poisk mini-research module so Misurkin could maneuver Yurchikhin with cables to the Zarya module near the Unity node. Yurchikhin was then to begin rerouting a cable connector and installing cables on Zarya.
While Yurchikhin is working on Zarya, Misurkin will be installing an experiment panel on Poisk. The experiment, named Vinoslivost, exposes materials to the space environment so scientists can study the changes in their properties. He will then install two connector patch panels and gap spanners on Poisk.
After completing the Poisk work, Misurkin will join Yurchikhin and assist him with the Ethernet cable installation work on the Zarya cargo module. The duo will go back and forth between Zarya and Poisk routing and installing the cable at various points and securing the cable's slack.
Once the cable installation is complete the spacewalkers will translate to Pirs and conduct an inventory of their spacewalk tools. The duo will then reenter Pirs and close its hatch officially ending the station's 34th Russian spacewalk (EVA 34). If Yurchikhin and Misurkin are ahead of their timeline they may be able to reposition and stow the Strela cargo boom.
The cable work outside the station's Russian segment prepares the orbital outpost for the arrival of the "Nauka" Multipurpose Laboratory Module. The Nauka MLM is planned for a launch atop a Russian Proton rocket to replace Pirs.
For the duration of the spacewalk, Expedition 36 commander Pavel Vinogradov and flight engineer Chris Cassidy will be isolated to the Poisk module and their Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft while flight engineers Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency will be free to move about the U.S. segment of the complex.
Friday's spacewalk is the 172nd in support of station assembly and maintenance, the seventh in Yurchikhin's career and the second for Misurkin. The two will venture outside the Pirs again on Aug. 22 to replace a laser communications experiment with a platform on which a small telescope will be mounted during a future spacewalk.