Cosmonauts Install UrtheCast Cameras on ISS During Spacewalk

Spacewalker Oleg Kotov works outside the Zvezda service module. (Credit: NASA TV)
Spacewalker Oleg Kotov works outside the Zvezda service module. (Credit: NASA TV)

Update: UrtheCast says that both cameras are functioning normally.

NASA PR — Expedition 38 Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy closed the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment at 3:08 p.m. EST signaling the end of their six-hour, eight minute spacewalk. The cosmonauts finished up work that could not be completed during their last spacewalk on Dec. 27.

The duo wrapped up the installation of a pair of high fidelity UrtheCast cameras that experienced connectivity issues Dec. 27. Kotov and Ryazanskiy also retrieved scientific gear outside the station’s Russian segment.

After exiting Pirs, 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. The installation work was part of a commercial agreement between a Canadian firm and the Russian Federal Space Agency to provide Earth views to internet-based subscribers.

The spacewalkers also retrieved a cassette container attached to Pirs, part of a materials exposure experiment. The cosmonauts then removed a worksite interface adapter attached to a portable data grapple fixture on the Zarya cargo module. The adapter removal work will ensure that future operations with the Canadarm2 robotic arm will not be impeded.

This was the fourth spacewalk conducted during Expedition 38 and the 178th in support of space station assembly and maintenance. It is the sixth spacewalk in Kotov’s career and the third for Ryazanskiy. Both spacewalkers wore Russian Orlan spacesuits bearing blue stripes.

The first two spacewalks were conducted Dec. 21 and Dec. 24 by NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins. The two flight engineers removed and replaced a degraded ammonia pump module to restore the station’s cooling system.