Thursday, January 14, 2010

Spacewalkers Head Outside Space Station

Two Russian cosmonauts headed outside the International Space Station today on a mission to prepare a new docking compartment for service at the outpost.

Oleg Kotov and Max Suraev exited the Russian Pirs airlock at the station at 5:05 a.m. as the station passed 220 miles above the south Pacific Ocean.

You can watch the five-hour, 50-minute excursion live here in The Flame Trench. Simply click the NASA TV box on the right side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer and be sure to refresh this page for periodic updates.

The two spacewalkers aim to outfit the newly delivered Poisk -- or "Search" -- module to function as a docking compartment and an airlock. The module, also known at the Mini Research Module 2, or MRM2, was launched to the station in December.

The excursion is the 137th to be conducted in the assembly and maintenance of the station.

Kotov is making his third spacewalk; he performed two as a flight engineer on Expedition 15. Kotov is wearing the Orlan spacesuit with the red stripes and is the prime spacewalker for the excursion.

Suraev is performing his first spacewalk. He is wearing the Orlan suit with the blue stripes.

Click HERE for a detailed timeline for the spacewalk.

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