Fri, Jun 08, 2007
Suni Williams Due To Break Spaceflight Record
The Expedition 15 crew
completed their second spacewalk in eight days Wednesday, and
continued preparations for space shuttle Atlantis' arrival at the
International Space Station.
Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov were
out in space more than five hours installing sample containers on
the Pirs module for a Russian experiment. The experiment, called
Biorisk, looks at the effect of space on microorganisms.
The spacewalkers then strung a section of ethernet cable on the
exterior of the Zarya module, completing the installation of a
remote computer network that will allow the US segment to control
the Russian segment, in the event of a problem.
About two and a half hours into the spacewalk, Russian
controllers noticed unusual readings in Pirs and asked Yurchikhin
to return to the module where he verified that the pressurized
oxygen bottles were closed properly. Mission Control Moscow
determined a small amount of oxygen was flowing from a fluid
umbilical that apparently didn't close properly when it was
disconnected from the spacesuit at the beginning of the
The team then concentrated on the primary task of their
spacewalk: putting up 12 debris shield panels on the conical
section of the Zvezda module. Five panels were installed last week,
and six others were installed in 2002 to improve the module's
protection from micrometeroid debris strikes. The aluminum panels
measure about two feet by three feet and are an inch thick.
Flight Engineer Suni
Williams monitored Wednesday's spacewalk and conducted experiment
activities. Earlier this week, she and other crew members prepared
the Quest airlock for the spacewalks planned during Atlantis'
mission, which is scheduled for launch June 8 with a June 10
Commander Rick Sturckow and the crew of shuttle Atlantis are in
Florida preparing for their launch. Atlantis will deliver a new set
of solar array wings and a new station flight engineer, NASA
astronaut Clay Anderson.
On June 16, Williams will exceed astronaut Shannon Lucid's mark
for the longest spaceflight ever by a woman, 188 days and 4
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