Shields Up! ISS Spacewalkers Install New Micrometeorite Shields

by Nancy Atkinson on August 21, 2012

International Space Station Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko completed the first spacewalk of the Expedition 32 mission on Monday, Aug. 20, and successfully completed several tasks, including the installation of micrometeoroid debris shields on the exterior of the Zvezda service module and the deployment of a small science satellite.

Graphic showing the Debris Panel Installation Sites. Credit: NASA

The primary task during the five-hour, 51-minute EVA was to move the Strela-2 cargo boom from the Pirs docking compartment to the Zarya module. The move was another step in preparing Pirs for its eventual undocking and disposal, which will make room for the docking of the new Russian multipurpose laboratory module to the Zvezda nadir port.

This was the 163rd in support of station assembly and maintenance.

A second Expedition 32 spacewalk, scheduled for Aug. 30, will be conducted by NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide. This will be the first U.S.-based spacewalk in over a year, since July 2011. During the planned 6.5-hour EVA, the astronauts will replace a faulty power relay unit on the station’s truss, rig power cables for the arrival late next year of a Russian laboratory module, replace a failing robotic arm camera and install a thermal cover on a docking port.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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