Thursday, May 20, 2010

Crews Opening Rassvet Hatches, Preparing for Spacewalk

The hatches between the International Space Station and its new Russian Rassvet module were opened for the first time at 5:52 a.m. CDT Thursday.

Also known as Mini-Research Module 1, Rassvet is almost 20 feet long, 7.7 feet wide and weighs 11,188 pounds. Carrying almost 6,500 pounds of internal and external cargo to the station, Rassvet has eight science work stations and will be used both as a docking and stowage compartment.

Mission Specialists Mike Good and Reisman prepared for their Friday spacewalk, configuring tools and preparing suits and the airlock. The major task of the spacewalk is to replace the final two of the six batteries being changed out on the Port 6 truss. Four were replaced Wednesday. Spacewalkers also will install an ammonia jumper and take a power and data grapple fixture from Atlantis’ cargo bay into the station. It will be installed later on the Zarya module, to provide a base for the station arm to work in that area.

The crew got about four hours of afternoon free time, until the spacewalk procedure review near the end of their workday. The spacewalkers will spend the night in the Quest airlock with its pressure reduced to 10.2 to psi.

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