Space Station Crew Completes First Spacewalk
The two-man crew of the International Space Station completed their first spacewalk, performing maintenance on the facility.
This marks the first time the men, Salizhan Sharipov and Leroy Chiao, performed a spacewalk launched from the space station. The walk was also Sharipov’s first ever. According to the Discovery Channel:
the two-man crew of the International Space Station left their orbital home early Wednesday for 5 1/2 hours of chores outside the sprawling complex Although space station managers do not like to leave the station unstaffed, they wanted the crew to install two new science experiments to the station’s hull.
The first task had the two crewmembers installing a twenty-inch robotic arm on the Space Station, which can be controlled by ground control or the Space Station crew. The installation was a success, although they did experience some trouble turning it on.
Next, the two inspected the vents of the station’s oxygen generator, which had been acting up. Discovery reports:
Sharipov discovered an oily residue in a honeycomb pattern on insulation around the vents and took pictures to relay to engineers after the spacewalk. The crew may be asked to do more troubleshooting during their next spacewalk, targeted for late March.