Cosmonauts ready docking port for new arrivals
Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov began the spacewalk at 7:17 a.m. EST (1217 GMT) on Wednesday (Jan. 19) as the two cosmonauts opened the hatch of the Poisk mini-research module. Once outside, they deployed the Strela telescoping boom, which they used to traverse Poisk and the multi-purpose laboratory module Nauka to reach their worksite beside Prichal.
Shkaplerov and Dubrov worked fairly close to schedule as they completed the tasks to provide power, communications and route data to and from Prichal and the rest of the space station. The two cosmonauts uncovered and tied down handrails to aid future spacewalks, connected cables and installed antennas for the "Kurs" automated docking system, as well as repositioned a TV camera to provide coverage of the activities outside the new module.
Shkaplerov and Dubrov also installed docking targets to be used by spacecraft approaching Prichal.
At times during the spacewalk, Shkaplerov and Dubrov jettisoned thermal covers, containers and antennas that they removed from Prichal or were no longer needed. The spent hardware was pitched overboard opposite the direction that the space station was traveling to avoid their being reencountered in orbit. The covers and antennas will eventually fall back to Earth and burn up upon entering the atmosphere.
The spacewalk ended at 2:28 p.m. EST (1928 GMT) after 7 hours, 11 minutes.
Wednesday's spacewalk was the third in Shkaplerov's career and fourth for Dubrov. Shkaplerov has now logged 21 hours and 39 minutes working in the vacuum of space. Dubrov's total is now 29 hours, 49 minutes.