ISS crew prepares for scheduled spacewalk

Gennady Padalka, the Russian commander of the International Space Station (ISS), and American flight engineer Michael Fincke will inspect the docking console during a spacewalk.

"The crew will check the console located in the Pirs docking compartment while preparing for their August 3 spacewalk," Valery Lyndin, a spokesman for the Russian mission control center, said today.

They will wear Russian-made Orlan-M spacesuits while working on the outside of the station. The suits were worn during have already been tried out during an unscheduled spacewalk on June 26 when the crew had to repair a malfunctioning American gyroscope, Viktor Blagov, a deputy mission control chief, told RIA Novosti.

"Michael Fincke enjoyed working in the Russian spacesuit and he praised our Orlan-M suit while chatting with his superiors," Mr. Blagov noted.

The primary objective of the spacewalk is to install laser equipment on the docking console for precise docking with the Jules Verne, a new European cargo spacecraft that is already undergoing ground tests. Currently, the crew are busy studying various documents and processes regarding the spacewalk.

They have also loaded garbage into Russia's Progress spacecraft, which is still docked to the ISS. The spacecraft will undock on July 30 at 10:06. a.m. Moscow time, and subsequently burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

A new Progress-M-50 spacecraft will lift off on August 11 from the Baikonur space center in southern Kazakhstan and dock with the ISS on August 14. The spacecraft will deliver crew parcels, food, fuel, water, spare parts, as well as part of the 10th mission's equipment.

The crew of the 10th mission, Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov and American astronaut Leroy Chiao, will lift off on October 9. They will be accompanied by either a space tourist or the Russian Space Forces' first cosmonaut Yury Shargin. One of them will spend seven days in orbit.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team