Monday, December 22, 2008

Space Station Spacewalk Underway Tonight

Two of the international space station's crew members are taking a walk in space to perform a few equipment updates and install an experiment tray for the Europeans.

Running a half-hour late, Station commander Mike Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov began tonight's spacewalk at 7:51 pm EST, from the Russian  Pirs airlock. The pair will work outside the station for around six hours while the station's third crew member, flight engineer Sandra Magnus, will act as the spacewalk cordinatior.

According to Mission Control, this is the 119th spacewalk dedicated to the construction of the international space station which began ten years ago.

Currently, the space duo is installing the Langmuir probe on the Pirs airlock. The probe will collect data as it measures the electromagnetic region around the station. The last two Russian spacecrafts, called Soyuz, have had reentry issues after leaving the station, and engineers suspect that the station's electric discharge on the Soyuz has played a part in the craft's steeper than planned reentry.

 ++ Watch the spacewalk LIVE via our link at top, right column. +++

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