Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Station Crew Prepares for Russian and U.S. Spacewalks

The Expedition 22 crew members aboard the International Space Station tackled a variety of tasks Tuesday as they prepared for spacewalks and assembled robotics hardware.

As they wrap up their second week aboard the orbiting complex, the station’s newest flight engineers, T.J. Creamer, Soichi Noguchi and Oleg Kotov, each had a final session of crew orientation and adaptation -- an hour of free time set aside to study the layout of the station and learn to move about in its large habitable space. The new crew members were welcomed aboard Dec. 22 by Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev when their Soyuz docked with the station.

Working in the Russian segment of the station, cosmonauts Suraev and Kotov set up emergency medical equipment and serviced their Orlan spacesuits as they continued preparations for a six-hour spacewalk out of the Pirs docking compartment scheduled for Jan. 14. The spacewalkers will ready the Mini-Research Module 2, known as Poisk, for its first docking, which will occur when Suraev and Williams relocate the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft from the aft port of the Zvezda service module on Jan. 21.

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