Kondratiev and Skripochka Completed EVA - Again Ahead the Schedule. / February 17, 2011 /
International Space Station Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratiev and Oleg Skripochka completed the spacewalk returning into the Earth-facing Pirs Docking Compartment at 9:20 p.m. MSK.
This was the second spacewalk for Kondratiev, EV1, who was wearing an Orlan-MK spacesuit with red stripes, and the third for Skripochka, EV2, who is wearing the blue-striped Orlan-MK suit. This is the 153rd spacewalk in support of station assembly and maintenance.
Kondatiev and Skripocka bet their own record of Jan 21s EVA, when they returned to the station about 30 min ahead the schedule. Today, they spent 4 h 50 min in outer space instead of 6 hours planned.
The spacewalkers installed two experiments: one will collect information useful in seismic forecasts and earthquake predictions, and the other will look at gamma splashes and optical radiation during terrestrial lightning and thunderstorms. They also retrieved two panels exposed to space as part of an experiment to learn how to build the best long-duration spacecraft.
While Kondratyev and Skripochka were outside the station, their Expedition 26 colleagues were isolated inside, ready to evacuate in the unlikely event of an emergency. Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri were isolated in the Poisk module with the hatch closed to isolate the segment. They would have evacuated in their Soyuz TMA-01M if needed. Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman were in the station’s U.S. segment with hatches open, leaving them available to evacuate in their Soyuz spacecraft, TMA-20.
Flight controllers in the Mission Control Center in Korolev, outside of Moscow, were providing primary support for the spacewalk.