May 25, 2007

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington

John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center, Houston



HOUSTON - Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight
Engineer Oleg Kotov prepared this week for two spacewalks while
Flight Engineer Suni Williams prepared for her return to Earth. In
preparation for her successor’s arrival, Williams’ downlinked a
10-minute video tour for Clayton Anderson, who will travel to the
station on the upcoming space shuttle flight.

Mission managers gave a “go” for a May 30 Russian spacewalk to
orbital debris protection panels on the Zvezda service module and a
GPS antenna cable associated with Automated Transfer Vehicle
navigation systems. This will be the 18th Russian spacewalk in
support of station assembly and maintenance. The spacewalk is
scheduled to begin at 1:20 p.m. CDT and last approximately six hours.
NASA Television coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m.

First-time spacewalkers Yurchikhin and Kotov checked out the
spacesuits and the Pirs airlock, prepared their tools, and closed the
hatch to the Progress resupply vehicle docked to Pirs. Williams, who
will help coordinate the spacewalk from inside the station, also
prepared U.S. tools that will be used. During the spacewalk, the
cosmonauts will retrieve a package, known as the “Christmas tree,”
which contains three bundles of debris panels. They were temporarily
stowed on Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 during the STS-116 mission
last December. After transferring the panels to Zvezda, Yurchikhin
and Kotov will install the panels from one bundle. The others will be
installed during their June 6 Russian spacewalk. Mission managers
this week conducted a preliminary review of that spacewalk.

Williams this week installed updated software on the station’s laptop
computers, replaced the elastic “flex packs” in two Resistive
Exercise Device canisters used to simulate weightlifting in the
absence of gravity, and worked out on a stationary bicycle while
medical experts on the ground measured her oxygen intake as part of a
periodic fitness evaluation.

The crew members also prepared for the arrival of space shuttle
Atlantis, targeted to launch on June 8. Yurchikhin and Kotov reviewed
a recent digital photography practice session with shuttle imagery
specialists, and Williams assembled a spacewalk tool to be used by
shuttle astronauts who will retract the P6 starboard solar array.
Along with filming the station video, Suni Williams also spoke with
Clayton Anderson to help him prepare for his mission. It will begin
officially when his specially-fitted Soyuz seat liner is transferred
from Atlantis to the station during the STS-117 mission.
On Wednesday, Russian flight controllers executed an orbit adjustment
burn, increasing the station’s speed about one mile an hour and
putting it in the proper orbit for Atlantis’ arrival.

The Expedition 15 crew also participated in interviews with WBZ
CBS Radio, ABC News and MSNBC.

For more about the crew’s activities and station sighting
opportunities, visit: