Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov did a spacewalk dry run on Monday, putting on their Russian spacesuits, checking pressures and data streams and then removing the suits. Tuesday they reconfigured Station systems for automated operations in preparation for the spacewalk. The hatches in the U.S. segment were also closed to isolate each module. Cameras were set up for ground controllers to monitor the interior.
Sharipov and Chiao stepped outside at 1:43 a.m. CST Wednesday. They completed their planned tasks in 5 hours and 28 minutes and returned to the Pirs Docking Compartment. They closed its hatch at 7:11 a.m. CST. Primary tasks of the spacewalk included installing a small German robotic experiment and associated cabling and an antenna. They also installed scientific experiments and inspected and took pictures for later downlink of environmental control system vents, looking for any contamination that could cause irregular operation.
With their first successful spacewalk of the mission under their belt, Chiao and Sharipov worked the rest of the week on setting up for normal operations. Thursday and Friday saw the crew reconfiguring the Station systems, storing spacesuits and tools, and enjoying some off-duty time.
The next spacewalk for Chiao and Sharipov is scheduled for March 25. They will install the final pieces necessary on the outside of the Station for the arrival of Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), an unpiloted cargo carrier, later this year.
The crew will have the usual light-duty weekend with cleaning and exercise on tap. Chiao, who is the NASA ISS Science Officer, can also choose from various research activities for his optional Saturday Morning Science session.