UPDATE: Six-Hour Spacewalk Yields Success for UrtheCast Cameras

by Elizabeth Howell on January 28, 2014

Expedition 38 cosmonaut Oleg Kotov during a January 2014 spacewalk, outside the Zvezda service module. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 38 cosmonaut Oleg Kotov during a January 2014 spacewalk, outside the Zvezda service module. Credit: NASA TV

UPDATE: As of Tuesday morning (Eastern time), UrtheCast announced that telemetry was successfully received, “contrary to the online broadcast of the installation.” CEO Scott Larson added that his company “can now focus on the routine commissioning of the cameras in preparation for the unveiling of our Ultra HD, color video of Earth.” Below is the report from Monday.

A second crack at installing the UrtheCast cameras on the International Space Station also ran into data trouble, according to a press release from NASA, although the company involved with the cameras says it is still waiting for more information about the telemetry.

Expedition 38 spacewalkers Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy were again trying to put the cameras outside the station for UrtheCast to provide live views of Earth to subscribers. The cosmonauts’ first attempt on Dec. 27 showed telemetry problems, at which point the spacewalkers were instructed to bring the cameras back inside.

“The duo translated to the Zvezda service module and installed a high-resolution camera and a medium-resolution camera to capture Earth imagery. However, the medium resolution camera again experienced telemetry issues,” NASA stated.

On Twitter, however, UrtheCast stated that it is still awaiting confirmation on the status of the telemetry. We’ll keep you posted when they issue an update.

Kotov and Ryazanskiy spent six hours, eight minutes outside performing this and other routine tasks, marking the fourth spacewalk in about a month for Expedition 38. Besides the other Russian spacewalk in late December, two American astronauts ventured out close to Christmas to make a contingency swap on a faulty ammonia pump.

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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