09:21 AM

Space Station Crew Completes Overnight Spacewalk

An astronaut and a cosmonaut successfully performed a series of tasks outside the station.

The crew of the International Space Station spent more than five hours outside their ship beginning Monday night, completing installation of an electromagnetic energy probe and performing other experiments that didn't wrap up until 1:29 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday.

The tasks marked the fifth spacewalk for commander Mike Fincke and the first for flight engineer Yuri Lonchakov.

The astronaut and the cosmonaut, wearing Russian Orlan spacesuits, worked together to install an electromagnetic measuring device known as a Langmuir probe on the space station's Pirs docking compartment. The device could prove useful in measuring the effects of electromagnetic fields on pyrotechnical separation bolts.

Those bolts may have failed during Expeditions 15 and 16 of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, leading to a ballistic, or steeper-than-normal, re-entry of the craft into the Earth's atmosphere.

Fincke and Lonchakov also installed what NASA is calling "the Impulse experiment," under which disturbances in the ionosphere surrounding the space station are measured. The spacewalkers successfully installed the experiment, but only after dealing with some uncooperative cable connectors.

NASA said mission specialists on Earth were unable to receive telemetry data from Impulse and decided to shut it down.

Fincke and Lonchakov then returned to Pirs, re-entered the airlock, and closed the hatch. In total, they spent five hours and 38 minutes outside the space station.

The space station, an international project funded by 16 nations, has been under construction for more than a decade at a cost of $100 billion. Ultimately, NASA plans to expand the size of the station's crew from three members to six.

The next mission is slated for February.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Time to Reconsider Enterprise Email Strategy
Time to Reconsider Enterprise Email Strategy
Cost, time, and risk. It's the demand trifecta vying for the attention of both technology professionals and attorneys charged with balancing the expectations of their clients and business units with the hard reality of the current financial and regulatory climate. Sometimes, organizations assume high levels of risk as a result of their inability to meet the costs involved in data protection. In other instances, it's time that's of the essence, as with a data breach.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.