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ISS Crew Readies For Monday Night Spacewalk

December 22, 2008

The Expedition 18 crew aboard the International Space Station shifted its sleep schedule Sunday night and awoke later than usual to begin preparations for Monday night’s spacewalk by Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov.

Fincke and Lonchakov are scheduled to exit the Pirs airlock Monday around 7:15 p.m. EST for the six-hour excursion to install and retrieve science experiments from the station’s exterior.

They also will install a probe to measure electromagnetic potential around the Russian segment of the station that is suspected by Russian specialists to have contributed to the failure of Soyuz module separation bolts. Improper firing of these bolts resulted in steeper than expected re-entries for the Soyuz spacecrafts carrying the Expedition 15 and 16 crews back to Earth.

Lead spacewalker Lonchakov will wear the spacesuit with the blue stripes, while Fincke will wear the suit with the red stripes. NASA TV coverage of the spacewalk begins Monday at 6:30 p.m.

Flight Engineer Sandra Magnus installed a Baseband Assembly and a Light Housing Assembly in the Japanese Logistics Module – Pressurized Section. She also assisted her crewmates with spacesuit testing and other preparations for the spacewalk.

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