Commercial Cameras Installed on ISS Not Functioning

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Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio captured this view of spacewalkers Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy working outside the International Space Station and posted it to Twitter. (Credit: NASA)

Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio captured this view of spacewalkers Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy working outside the International Space Station and posted it to Twitter. (Credit: NASA)

Two cosmonauts set a new Russian spacewalk record on Friday but the two cameras they installed on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) failed to send telemetry to flight controllers on the ground, NASA announced today.

Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy spent 8 hours and 7 minutes outside of the station with the primary objective of installing a pair of cameras provided by UrtheCast of Vancouver, Canada. The cameras — one high-definition, one medium-resolution — are part of a commercial venture designed to give continuous live coverage of the Earth as ISS circles the planet.

The cosmonauts succeeded in installing the cameras, but an unspecified problem prevented Russian flight controllers from receiving telemetry. The space walkers subsequently removed the cameras for inspection inside the station.

Spacewalkers Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy remove the high resolution camera they installed earlier during Friday's spacewalk. (Credit: NASA)

Spacewalkers Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy remove the high resolution camera they installed earlier during Friday’s spacewalk. (Credit: NASA)

Kotov and Ryazanskiy also removed a Vsplesk experiment package from the exterior of the station that monitored seismic effects using high-energy particle streams in the near-Earth environment. They replaced with an earthquake monitoring experiment named Seismoprognoz.

The problem with the cameras meant the space walkers did not have time to install a payload boom and jettison a frame that once held three Micro-Particles Capturer and Space Environment Exposure Device (MPAC & SEED) units for a Japanese space exposure study.

The spacewalk eclipsed a 7 hour, 29 minute spacewalk conducted on Aug. 16 by Expedition 36 Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin.