Two crew members of the International Space Station (ISS)-the U.S. astronauts Kenneth Bowersox and Donald Pettit-will spend six hours doing extravehicular activities on April 8.
Meanwhile, the Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin will stay inside the spacecraft, seeing to it that his American counterparts' space walk proceeds smoothly, says Sergei Puzanov, NASA coordinator for public relations at the Russian Mission Control Center.
The fact that only American members of the ISS crew are going to take part in the Apr. 8 extravehicular activities does not arise from their Russian mate having any health problems, Puzanov assured reporters on Thursday. It is just that the forthcoming space walk will be aimed at fulfilling assignments set for a U.S. space shuttle that was to have arrived at the ISS in March or April, but didn't because of the suspension of all shuttle flights following the Columbia collapse. Bowersox and Pettit will therefore take their space walk April 8 for the crew that has failed to come along.
The astronauts will dismantle the systems used for supplying electricity and for cooling the ISS spatial orientation equipment and will also do repairs to the rotating hoister, which facilitates works on the spacecraft's surface.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his speech dedicated to the Day of the Russian Navy, recalled the threats that Russia is currently facing from a number of countries.