Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Russian spacewalk finishes early

The 28th Russian spacewalk outside the International Space Station, and 153rd overall, is complete.

Expedition 26 cosmonauts and flight engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka returned inside the Russian segment's Pirs airlock and closed the hatch at 1:21 p.m. EST, ending a four-hour, 51-minute excursion.

All the spacewalk's objectives were completed well ahead of schedule

Two experiments were installed, two experiment panels retrieved and an old foot restraint jettisoned.

The next spacewalks outside the station will be by Discovery astronauts Steve Bowen and Al Drew on flight days five and seven of their mission, if the shuttle launches as planned as soon as next Thursday.

The next Russian spacewalk is planned in late July.

The 153 station spacewalks to date total just over 961 hours. For their careers, Skripochka totals 16 hours and 41 minutes on three spacewalks; Kondratyev totals 10 hours and 14 minutes on two spacewalks.

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