Thursday, January 14, 2010

Spacewalkers Running Ahead Of Schedule At Station

One hour after exiting a side hatch on the Russian side of the International Space Station, two cosmonauts are breezing through a spacewalk aimed at prepping a new docking compartment that also will serve as a back-up airlock.

Oleg Kotov and Max Suraev are running about a half hour ahead of schedule. The two are hooking up communications cables and antennas outside the new Piosk, or Search, module, which was launched to the outpost late last year.

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.

Work so far is going so well that Suraev took a little time to shoot some photographs of his spacewalking partner.

The excursion is the 137th to be conducted in the assembly and maintenance of the station, the first two building blocks of which were linked in low Earth orbit in late 1998.

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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