Crew Checks Spacesuit, Continues Advanced Research and Preps for Next Spacewalk

Astronaut Tim Peake
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake seen during his first spacewalk.

The crew checked a spacesuit for leaks over the weekend after a successful spacewalk that was terminated early on Friday. The International Space Station residents also got back to work today on advanced space research, spacewalk gear cleanup activities and preparations for another spacewalk next month.

Astronaut Tim Kopra reported a small water bubble in his spacesuit Friday during a short spacewalk. Shortly afterward, he and fellow spacewalker Tim Peake were ordered back inside the station. Once inside, the water was collected and stored for analysis on the ground. The suit was later pressurized and tested though no further leaks were detected.

Kopra also worked on the Fine Motor Skills experiment, cleaned up the Quest airlock and checked a spacesuit battery. Peake set up the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace in Japan’s laboratory module to begin research on the thermophysical properties of various materials.

The next spacewalk is scheduled for Feb. 3. Cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov will exit the Pirs docking compartment in their Orlan spacesuits for several hours of Russian tasks.

Spacewalk Ends Successfully But Early After Water Detected in Helmet

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake completed the primary task for their spacewalk on January 15, 2016 before it was ended early by Mission Control Houston. The astronauts replaced a failed voltage regulator that caused a loss of power to one of the station’s eight power channels last November, accomplishing the major objective for this spacewalk.

See photos from the spacewalk

The pair ended its spacewalk at 12:31 p.m. EST with the repressurization of the U.S. Quest airlock following an early termination after Kopra reported a small water bubble had formed inside his helmet.

“These procedures did their job, the team did their job and we flowed right into a nice, safe return into the airlock for these guys,” remarked NASA’s Chief Astronaut Chris Cassidy, who took part in the July 2013 spacewalk when ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano experienced a similar, but more serious, incident.

Listen to the full audio from the interview with NASA Chief Astronaut Chris Cassidy

Commander Scott Kelly assisted the crew members with an expedited removal of their spacesuits and helmets. Once they removed the spacesuits and helmets, the astronauts used a syringe to take a water sample and retrieve the helmet absorption pad to determine how much water was introduced. Engineers are already looking at data to find what may have prompted the water to form inside Kopra’s helmet.

The crew was never in any danger and returned to the airlock in an orderly fashion.

The 4 hour and 43 minutes spacewalk was the third for Kopra and the first for Peake, who both arrived to the station Dec. 15. It was the 192 in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory.

Teams will continue to look over data collected during the spacewalk and discuss forward plans in the days to come.

Spacewalk Ends Early After Water Detected in Helmet

Spacewalker Tim Kopra
Spacewalker Tim Kopra is helped out of his spacesuit by Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov. Credit: NASA TV

Astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake ended their spacewalk at 12:31 p.m. EST with the repressurization of the U.S. Quest airlock following an early termination of the spacewalk after Kopra reported a small water bubble had formed inside his helmet.

Commander Scott Kelly will assist the crew members with an expedited removal of their spacesuits and helmets. Once they have removed the spacesuits and helmets, the astronauts will use a syringe to take a water sample and retrieve the helmet absorption pad to determine what may have prompted the water to form inside Kopra’s helmet.

The crew was never in any danger and returned to the airlock in an orderly fashion. The astronauts replaced a failed voltage regulator that caused a loss of power to one of the station’s eight power channels last November, accomplishing the major objective for this spacewalk.

The 4 hour and 43 minutes spacewalk was the third for Kopra and the first for Peake, who both arrived to the station Dec. 15. It was the 192 in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory.

Stay up-to-date on the latest ISS news at: www.nasa.gov/station

Spacewalkers Replace Voltage Regulator

Spacewalker Tim Kopra
Spacewalker Tim Kopra is seen outside the Quest airlock shortly after the beginning of this morning’s spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

Approximately 2 hours into today’s spacewalk, astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake have completed the replacement of a failed voltage regulator that caused a loss of power to one of the station’s eight power channels last November.

The astronauts will now continue with additional tasks, including the routing of cables in advance of International Docking Adapter installment work to support U.S. commercial crew vehicles.

The solar arrays that convert energy to electricity on the space station are made of thousands of solar cells. Altogether, the arrays can generate 84 to 120 kilowatts of electricity — enough to provide power to more than 40 homes, and the space station’s electrical power system is connected by eight miles (12.9 kilometers) of wire.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA Television at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Follow @Space_Station and #spacewalk on Twitter to join the conversation online.

U.S. and British Astronauts on First Spacewalk of 2016

Expedition 46 Spacewalkers U.S. Spacewalk 35
NASA’s Timothy Kopra and ESA’s Timothy Peake will perform 6.5 hour spacewalk on January 15.

Astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake switched their spacesuits to battery power at 7:48 a.m. EST, signifying the start of today’s spacewalk, planned for about six and a half hours.

Kopra is wearing a spacesuit with red stripes and is designated EV1. His helmet camera displays the number 17. Peake is wearing a spacesuit with no stripes and is designated EV2. His helmet camera displays the number 20.

The astronauts are embarking on the 192nd spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance to replace a failed voltage regulator that caused a loss of power to one of the station’s eight power channels last November.

The Electrical Power System consists of an acre of solar panels that take in sunlight to generate, store, and distribute power.

NASA Television is broadcasting the spacewalk at www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Final Preparations for Tomorrow’s Spacewalk

U.S. EVA #35 Tasks
List of tasks to be performed during U.S. EVA #35 tomorrow at 7:55 a.m. EST.

Commander Scott Kelly and one-year crewmate Mikhail Kornienko continue their contribution to the fluid shifts study with the aid of Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov. Data from this long-term study hopes to reveal correlations between the distribution of fluid in the body and changes in vision during prolonged stays in microgravity.

Final preparations are underway for tomorrow’s spacewalk by Tim Kopra and Tim Peake to replace the failed Sequential Shunt Unit and regain the use of power channel 1B that went down on November 13. The 6 ½ hour spacewalk will also involve the spacewalkers deploying cables for the future installation of International Docking Adapters on Pressurized Mating Adapters that will accommodate the arrival of U.S. commercial crew vehicles.

Make sure to tune in to NASA TV tomorrow morning for a live look at U.S. EVA #35. Coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. EST: www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Busy Day of Research Aboard Station

Tim Kopra readies equipment for Friday's spacewalk
Tim Kopra readies equipment for Friday’s spacewalk which will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

The crew is involved in a number of different experiments today, including more fluid shift studies, the SPRINT experiment, and experiment Matroyshka-R.

Tim Kopra was taking part in the SPRINT experiment today, which evaluates the use of high intensity, low volume exercise to minimize loss of muscle, bone and cardiovascular function.

Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko is working with Matroyshka, which measures radiation dosages aboard the International Space Station.

Tim Kopra, Time Peake, and Yuri Melenchenko will be reviewing medical training and CPR procedures today.

NASA TV will be broadcasting Friday’s spacewalk starting at 6:30 a.m. EST: www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Astronauts Continue Spacewalk Prep and Install New ELF Experiments

Expedition 46 Spacewalkers U.S. Spacewalk 35
NASA’s Timothy Kopra and ESA’s Timothy Peake will perform 6.5 hour spacewalk on January 15.

Preparation continues for Tim Peake and Tim Kopra for Friday’s 7:55 a.m. EST spacewalk. Today, they will be re-familiarizing themselves with the tools needed to perform the Sequential Shunt Unit (SSU) change out.

Aside from spacewalk preparation, Commander Scott Kelly and Tim Peake will also be setting up the JAXA Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) equipment. It will be installed into the Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack 2 (MSPR2) work volume inside of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).

Commander Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko continue their fluid shift activities with help from Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov. Today’s activities are the third part of this experiment in which the Russian Chibis (Lower Body Negative Pressure – LBNP) is worn and ultrasound measurements of their eyes are taken.

Astronauts Prepare for Busy Week of Fluid Shift Experiments and End of Week Spacewalk

Astronauts prepare for busy week of fluid shift experiments and end of week spacewalk
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra help ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake with his Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) fit check.

Astronauts Tim Peake and Tim Kopra continue to prepare for their 6.5 hour spacewalk on Friday of this week. During the spacewalk they will be replacing a failed voltage regulator which will return power to one of the eight power channels.

Meanwhile, Commander Scott Kelly is gathering hardware for the fluid shifts experiment. Tomorrow, he and his one-year mission crewmate Mikhail Kornienko will be putting on the Russian Chibis suit, a lower body suit which redistributes fluids back to their legs. During this part of the experiment, they will be taking ultrasounds of their eyes to explore the correlation between body fluid distribution and potential changes in vision.

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov has been taking readings for the Vibrolab experiment. Monitoring micro vibrations can help to understand how tiny movements affect science experiments on station.

Astronauts Ready Spacesuits as Commander Observes Moment of Silence

Expedition 46 Crew Members
Four crew members of Expedition 46 pose for the camera after taking turns getting a quick haircut onboard the International Space Station. From left to right: Roscosmos cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Timothy Peake.

Two astronauts were back at work today preparing the spacesuits and tools they will use next week during a maintenance spacewalk. The crew also wrapped up some plumbing work while continuing a wide variety of space science.

Flight Engineers Tim Kopra and Tim Peake checked out their U.S. spacesuits ensuring a good fit and readied their spacewalk tools. The duo from the United States and Britain will exit the International Space Station Jan. 15 to replace a failed voltage regulator and work on other maintenance tasks.

The station’s restroom, the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, is back in operation after some parts and cables were replaced. That work was completed after a leak was discovered.

Commander Scott Kelly joined his fellow One-Year crewmate Mikhail Kornienko for the ongoing Fluid Shifts study. That experiment explores how microgravity increases brain pressure pushing back on a crew member’s eye possibly affecting their vision.

Kelly observed a moment of silence this morning to mark the 5th anniversary of the shootings in Tucson, AZ. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, married to Kelly’s twin brother and ex-astronaut Mark Kelly, was gravely wounded that day. Kelly, who was in space that day as commander of Expedition 26, was joined by his crewmates today for the silent moment.