Cosmonauts reverse spacewalk work after Earth-view cams hit data glitch
Two spacewalking cosmonauts had to reverse work on Friday (Dec. 27) attempting to advance a Canadian company's plans to offer near-live, continuous high-definition views of Earth from the International Space Station. An issue receiving data from UrtheCast's two HD cameras resulted in their being returned inside the orbiting outpost hours after their installation.
Expedition 38 commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy opened the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment at 7:00 a.m. CST (1300 GMT), beginning the spacewalk to install the cameras for the Vancouver-based UrtheCast Corporation and to refresh science experiments on the outside of the Russian segment of the station.
The spacewalkers came close to finishing their scheduled tasks before Russian ground controllers ordered they undo the work they had completed mounting the cameras. With the two units back inside the airlock with the cosmonauts, the extravehicular activity (EVA) ended at 3:07 p.m. CST (2107 GMT), eight hours and seven minutes after it began.
The spacewalk marked the longest Russian spacewalk in history, surpassing the previous record of seven hours, 29 minutes set this past August. (The overall longest EVA, at eight hours and 56 minutes, was set by U.S. astronauts in 2001.)