June 6, 2007

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington

John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center, Houston



HOUSTON - On Wednesday, the Expedition 15 crew completed the second
spacewalk in eight days and continued preparations for space shuttle
Atlantis’ arrival at the International Space Station.

Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov opened the
hatch on the Pirs docking compartment at 9:23 a.m. CDT to begin a
spacewalk lasting 5 hours and 37 minutes. The cosmonauts installed
sample containers on the Pirs module for a Russian experiment. The
experiment, called Biorisk, looks at the effect of space on

Next, the spacewalkers strung a section of Ethernet cable on the
exterior of the Zarya module. This completed the installation of a
remote computer network that will enable commanding of the station’s
Russian segment from the U.S. segment, if necessary.

Yurchikhin and Kotov later moved to the primary task on the agenda,
putting up 12 debris shield panels on the conical section of the
Zvezda module. Five panels were installed last week, and six others
were installed in 2002 to improve the module’s protection from
micrometeroid debris strikes. The aluminum panels each measure
approximately 2 feet by 3 feet and are 1 inch thick.

Almost two and a half hours into the spacewalk, Russian controllers
noticed unusual readings in Pirs and asked Yurchikhin to return to
the module where he verified that the pressurized oxygen bottles were
closed properly. Mission Control Moscow subsequently determined that
a small amount of oxygen was flowing from a fluid umbilical that had
not closed fully when it was disconnected from the spacesuit at the
beginning of the spacewalk. Controllers closed the flow of oxygen to
that umbilical to preserve the supply and restarted it during
repressurization of Pirs after the spacewalk concluded.

The spacewalk ended at 3 p.m. when the hatch on Pirs was closed. Both
cosmonauts now have 11 hours and 2 minutes experience in the Russian
Orlan spacesuits. This was the 83rd spacewalk in support of station
assembly and maintenance, the 55th conducted from the station, and
the 22nd conducted out of Pirs.

During Wednesday’s spacewalk, Flight Engineer Suni Williams remained
aboard the station monitoring the spacewalk, exercising and
conducting experiment activities. Earlier this week, she and her
crewmates prepared the Quest airlock for the spacewalks planned
during Atlantis’ mission. They also packed her personal items and
experiment results for her return to Earth aboard Atlantis. Early in
the morning of June 16, Williams will exceed astronaut Shannon
Lucid’s mark for the longest spaceflight ever by a woman, 188 days
and 4 hours.

Commander Rick Sturckow and the crew of shuttle Atlantis are in
Florida preparing for their scheduled launch Friday, June 8, at 7:38
p.m. EDT. STS-117, due to dock to the station at 2:49 p.m. CDT
Sunday, June 10, delivers a new set of solar array wings and a new
station flight engineer, NASA astronaut Clay Anderson.

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