Nov. 17, 2006

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston


Houston - Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and flight
engineers Mikhail Tyurin and Thomas Reiter continue to prepare for a
spacewalk Wednesday, Nov. 22, out of the International Space
Station’s Russian Pirs Docking Compartment airlock.

Lopez-Alegria, who will make his sixth spacewalk, and Tyurin, with
three previous spacewalks to his credit, climbed into Russian Orlan
spacesuits Friday to test all systems and communications gear. This
ended a week during which the spacewalkers also installed U.S. lights
on their suit helmets, reviewed procedures for the extravehicular
activity and performed leak checks on the Progress 22 craft currently
docked to the Pirs airlock.

The six-hour spacewalk includes a commercial golf demonstration by
Tyurin. Under a commercial agreement between the Russian Federal
Space Agency and a Canadian golf company, Tyurin will hit a golf ball
into space from a spring-mounted tee on the ladder next to the hatch
of Pirs. The ball will be tapped over the back of the station’s
Russian segment so that the ball travels away from the complex. NASA
flight controllers have calculated that it will burn up in the
atmosphere in about three days. The ball weighs much less than the
standard 45 gram golf ball. The ball used for this demonstration
weighs three grams, approximately the weight of three paper clips.

During the spacewalk, Tyurin will examine part of the ISS Progress 23
cargo ship. One of the antennas for the Progress’ automated docking
system may have failed to fold back when the spacecraft approached
the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module on Oct. 26. If it’s
necessary, Tyurin will manually retract that antenna.

Also, Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin will reposition a communications
antenna on the aft end of Zvezda associated with next year’s docking
of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle, check restraining bolts
on one of two Russian cargo cranes attached to Pirs and deploy an
experiment to measure solar flares.

Coverage on NASA Television and begins at 4 p.m. CST. The
spacewalk begins one hour later.

Wednesday marked the first live high-definition television broadcast
from space. It featured Lopez-Alegria, with Reiter serving as camera
operator. The broadcasts were conducted by NHK Television in Japan
and the Discovery HD Theater. Known as the Space Video Gateway, the
HD system onboard transmits high bandwidth digital television signals
to the ground through a computer. Previously, high-definition video
was recorded and then returned to Earth for viewing.

Flight controllers this week continued to test one of the station’s
four control moment gyroscopes (CMGs). CMG-3 exhibited high
vibrations and electrical currents in the past and was shut down Oct.
9. The recent test results will be compared to a previous series of
tests to provide additional data on the state of the gyroscope’s
accelerometer, lubricant and lubrication of the spin bearings.

CMG-3 is scheduled to be removed and replaced on the STS-118 shuttle
mission, targeted for launch in June 2007. The gyroscope will be
stowed and returned to Earth on the STS-122 mission next fall. The
station continues to function on three healthy CMGs without affecting

Reiter also continued work this week on a suite of European Space
Agency science experiments, including one called CASPER. Its
objective is to develop ways to help astronauts sleep better during
long-duration missions. Alteino Long Term Monitoring of Cosmic Rays
or ALTCRISS is another experiment Reiter performed. It is allowing
scientists to study the effects of shielding on cosmic rays. The
information gained may help engineers better understand the radiation
environment and how to provide efficient shielding against it.

The next station status report will be issued early Nov. 23 after the
spacewalk, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the crew’s
activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:


non vedo l’ora di vedermela questa passeggiata…alle 23 ore italiane giusto? l’unica cosa che non ho capito, è a che cosa serve questa dimostrazione di golf spaziale…

... l'unica cosa che non ho capito, è a che cosa serve questa dimostrazione di golf spaziale...

Ehmm… pubblicità… cortesemente offerta dalla E21 ditta produttrice di accessori per il golf (non sono sicuro ma forse solo di palline, qualcuno gioca a golf? :smiley: ) e l’anniversario del primo “lancio” golfistico dalla Luna… dopo Shepard…