Spacewalking Cosmonauts go '1 for 2' with Canadian Camera Installations Outside ISS


Spacewalking cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazanskiy met with mixed results Monday as they worked outside the International Space Station to re-install commercial Canadian high resolution video and medium resolution cameras.

The six-hour excursion, which drew to a close at 3:08 p.m., EST, marked a second attempt to equip the station's Russian segment with 1.1 meter resolution video and 5.5 meter resolution still cameras developed by UrtheCast, of Vancouver, Canada.

The video imager was installed and checked out quickly. However, after what initially appeared to be the same result with the still camera, flight controllers noted interference in the downlink. After a prolonged effort by Ryazanskiy to disconnect and reconnect power and data cables, the interference persisted. Russian flight controllers instructed the cosmonauts to leave the worksite with the issue unresolved and suggested there would not be another spacewalk to recover the still camera.

UrtheCast planned to offer near real time video and still Earth views to subscribers through the Internet in partnership with Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency.

On Dec. 27, Kotov and Ryazanski spent a Russian record eight hours, seven minutes for a spacewalk outside the ISS in a bid to install the cameras. However, they were forced to retrieve the imagers for internal troubleshooting when ground controllers could not verify power and data connectivity.

Subsequent efforts revealed a poor internal cable connection for the video camera and a mix-up in external cables for the still camera.

As Monday's spacewalk drew to a close, Russian controllers endorsed the cable connector changes made ahead of the latest spacewalk.

"We have a confidence the fix is working," they told Kotov and Ryazanskiy. "Thanks so much for a great job."

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