ISS Update: Art Thomason Discusses the Aug. 20 Russian Spacewalk -- 08.17.12

Uploaded by ReelNASA on 17.08.2012

>> Welcome back to Mission Control Houston.
We've been talking a lot this week about the preparations
that have been going on for the upcoming space walk,
which is pretty much now upon us on Monday
at 9:40 a.m. Central Time, Yuri Malenchenko
and Gennady Padalka are going to be going
out for the Russian EVA 31,
and here to tell us a little bit more about that,
we have with us Art Thomason, he's an EVA --
or a space walk officer and he's going to go over some
of the tasks for that.
>> Good morning.
Yeah, in Russian EVA 31, there's going to be three primary tasks.
The first of those tasks is going to be to relocate a Strela
from the DC1 or the docking department 1 over to FGB.
The reason they're doing this is DC1 is eventually going
to be replaced by a new module
so they're getting this Strela off of there.
So they'll get that moved over to the FGB.
From there, they'll, they'll head
out to do a satellite deploy
and so that's actually a 20 pound steel ball
that they're going to deploy from station or,
or jettison, if you will.
And from that, they'll, they'll use that to verify map models
at how things de-orbit back into earth.
From there, their final task is they're going
to be installing some, some protective shields
on the outside of station.
And so we have a video here that shows a little bit
about what they're going to be doing on the EVA.
You can see they'll come out of their airlock and then get right
to work on the Strela.
Now this is actually the Strela that they're going
to be moving during the EVA.
They'll extend EV 2 out to Strela 1 and then retract it.
>> And the Strelas are basically booms,
kind of like a robotic arm but not as, not as...
>> Similar to our robotic arms, however, these,
these are actually man powered, so there's a, you know,
they crank with their hands to extend it and,
and move it so less overhead in operating it.
>> And they're just moving that out of the way
so that they can eventually get --
take Pirs off the station and replace it.
>> That's correct.
So that's what you're seeing here in this video.
So they -- obviously they have two Strelas here
so they're extending one of the Strelas to capture the one
that they're going to be removing
so it shows it here capturing that one.
And then you'll see in just a moment,
they'll actually move it over back to the FGB.
So here you see EV 2 coming down, they're going
to be working together to capture the Strela to be moved.
Once it's secure, then they'll,
they'll move it back over to the FGB.
>> And since we've done this once before, is it --
you think it will go pretty straightforward and...
>> I think it will be pretty straightforward.
Both of these [inaudible] have a lot of EVA experience
so I don't expect it to be a problem for them.
>> Okay. And then, I guess, you know,
whenever they have anything to deploy, that's always,
that always seems interesting to me.
>> It is. Yeah, and especially in this case,
it's pretty neat because, you know,
I think people are always interested in,
in how things de-orbit, you know, there's, you know,
small amounts of air, things like that,
that are going to slow it down.
So when you have a, a steel ball like this,
it doesn't really matter their orientation.
A lot of the things that we've, that we've jettisoned before,
things like MLI, which is, you know, a thermal blanket,
which those things it really makes a difference
on how it's oriented in space.
So this -- the orientation doesn't matter as much.
>> Just like pitching a baseball, or...
>> Similar to that, they actually have a,
a contraption that's going to release is
so that it's more a controlled release.
>> Okay. And it's, it's to let the [inaudible]
on the ground [inaudible] this tracking, is that...
>> That's right.
So they'll track it and it, it's going to be used
to verify models and just better understand how things de-orbit.
>> Okay.
>> So here you can see they're still at work on stowing
that Strela or relocating it.
Once they get it back into place on FGB, they, they stow it
so that it's out of the way.
[inaudible] they translate back down the Strela
so you can see there's a telescoping piece of equipment
that they can extend and retract by hand.
So here you see Gennady riding back on, on the tip.
They'll put this one back in place, Strela 1.
And they'll secure that back to structure.
Now here's -- you'll see this object flashing here
as an external experiment, they're going to close that up,
it's about the size of a laptop, if you will.
So they'll, they'll close that up and bring it back inside
as technically a get-ahead so they'll,
they'll get it closed here
and then I guess we'll see how time's going on the EVA
and potentially bring it in, since it's right there,
you know, it's a, a get-ahead of opportunity, if you will.
>> Sure. And the space walk's scheduled to last
about six and a half hours?
>> That's correct.
And here's the satellite [inaudible].
>> That's correct.
Yeah, you see the spherical satellite, as I mentioned,
it was a, a 20 pound ball.
So it's a, you know, pretty, pretty heavy thing
when you have gravity.
It's 21 inches in diameter.
>> It looks a little like a bowling ball.
>> Yeah. And so, like some of the things
that I mentioned earlier, thermoblankets that we've let go
of before, then they don't have much mass so they slow
down quicker, this is a heavier object so I think they're able
to characterize, you know,
how it de-orbits a little bit better using something
like this.
>> Okay.
>> And I think the metallic portion of it, too,
makes it easier to track.
>> Sure. That makes sense.
>> So we saw the, we saw that satellite get deployed
and then here is some video on their final task, this is going
to be installing a few protective shields.
These shields protect from micro meteorite debris
on the outside of station.
So they're, they're going to be installing these
on the service module.
You can see those being put into place right here.
>> And I know we kind of replace things
like that fairly often, right?
Is it just to make sure that the station has the best protection
possible or...
>> That's correct.
>> Yeah.
>> Yeah. Here you can see one
of the other experiments called bio risk
that they're potentially bringing inside.
Now this is a get-ahead task so this experiment,
they get to bring it inside and find out, you know,
scientific data that they collected during the course
of the experiment.
The final get-ahead here is to put struts on the ladder
on the outside of docking compartment 1,
just to stiffen that up.
Eventually when docking compartment 1 is replaced,
they'll then install -- they'll move that ladder over.
>> And that's a ladder that's used by space walkers
when they're out doing these sorts of tasks.
>> That's correct.
Yeah, so right when they come out of the airlock,
they climb out on that ladder.
>> Okay. All right.
Well, so, you know, this being a Russian space walk,
how much does the U.S. flight control team here
in Houston get involved?
>> For this one, we're definitely not involved
in the same level we are for U.S. space walk.
A U.S. space walk, we do the training on the ground,
we write the procedures and then when the crew is,
is performing the task, we're walking them through step
by step and helping them with any problems that they run into.
For the Russian EVA, they are borrowing a few
of our U.S. tools.
One of those is the wireless video system
so it's basically a video camera that's mounted
to the cruise helmet.
So for that, now you'll get to see the point of view
of the crew member and watch them work,
see what they're seeing.
So they're borrowing that tool,
they're also borrowing a few tethers that we have.
>> Okay.
>> So we're involved with getting those over to them,
making sure they're configured correctly for them.
We're also following along for the space walk, so, you know,
we, we definitely don't have control of what's going on
but we're watching and for our, for our U.S. systems,
as well as things that are going
to affect the wireless video system, we make sure
that all the proper inhibits are in place,
things are powered down, things that may interfere
with the wireless video system.
So -- and we are involved but in a much smaller scale.
>> Well, I know NASA TV viewers are always glad to know
that there's going to helmet camera views.
>> Yes.
>> Okay. Well and I know they've spending pretty much all week
getting ready for it and we're even getting ready already
for the U.S. space walk that's coming up at the end
of the month, I think today though they were,
they were trying on their Orlons, making --
just doing some final checks and,
and making sure they were fitting right and everything?
>> Yeah, that's correct.
It's kind of a dress rehearsal, if you will,
making sure that the suit fits correctly.
They can make last minute adjustments so they don't have
to take the time to do that on the day of the space walk.
They get to translate around a little bit inside their airlock
to make sure that they're comfortable in the suit,
get a little bit of practice before the real day.
>> Okay. So I think everything's gone smoothly so far
in all the preparations there, so we should ready to go
on Monday, 9:40 a.m. Central Time?
>> That's correct.
>> All right.
Well, thank you so much for coming and talking with us
about it and we'll be watching on Monday.
>> Thank you.
[ Silence ]