Spaceflight Now Home

Mission Reports

For 12 years, Spaceflight Now has been providing unrivaled coverage of U.S. space launches. Comprehensive reports and voluminous amounts of video are available in our archives.
Space Shuttle
Atlas | Delta | Pegasus
Minotaur | Taurus | Falcon


Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest space news e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.


Space Books

International Space Station spacewalk conducted
Posted: July 9, 2013

Astronauts Christopher Cassidy and Luca Parmitano began repressurizing the International Space Station's Quest airlock at 2:09 p.m. EDT, closing out a six-hour seven-minute spacewalk. The astronauts plan to venture back outside next Tuesday to finish working through a backlog of maintenance and assembly tasks.

This was the 170th spacewalk, or EVA, devoted to station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998, the fourth of nine planned for this year, the fifth for Cassidy and the first for Parmitano, the first Italian to walk in space.

All told, 112 astronauts and cosmonauts representing nine nations have now logged 1,073 hours and 50 minutes of EVA time outside the station, or 44.7 days.


01:40 PM EDT, 07/09/13: Protective cover installed on forward docking port; astronauts, ahead of schedule, work 'get-ahead' tasks

Running well ahead of schedule, Luca Parmitano installed a protective cover over the forward port of the International Space Station where shuttles once docked.

With their primary objectives successfully accomplished, Parmitano and fellow spacewalker Christopher Cassidy worked through a handful of "get-ahead" tasks originally planned for a second spacewalk next week.

Cassidy began routing a so-called 1553 data cable between the Russian Zarya module and NASA's Tranquility module while Parmitano collected an equipment bag and mounted it near the station's airlock.

Earlier, carrying out another get ahead, Cassidy inspected a power and data grapple fixture on the Russian segment of the station where engineers believed a loose grounding wire might be visible. He was told to pull any slack out of the line, but Cassidy said he did not see anything amiss.

"It looks already done," he reported.

Connection of an ethernet cable that would route data to and from the robot arm attachment fixture was deferred to next week's spacewalk.

Summarizing, the spacewalkers:

  • Installed a replacement Ku-band communications transceiver to replace a unit that failed last December
  • Mounted two radiator grapple beam support clamps to the port and starboard sides of the station's power truss; the RGBs are designed to secure radiator panels during repair or replacement work
  • Retrieved a pair of materials science space exposure experiments
  • Retrieved a television camera assembly that needs repairs
  • Routed bypass jumper cables to permit more efficient recovery from electrical problems
  • Installed a protective cover over the station's forward docking port
  • Routed power and data cables that will be needed when a new Russian laboratory module arrives late this year or early next
  • Inspected a robot arm attachment fitting on the Russian Zarya module
  • Moved an equipment bag back to the Quest airlock

Cassidy and Parmitano plan to stage a second spacewalk next Tuesday to complete a backlog of maintenance and assembly tasks.


12:20 PM EDT, 07/09/13: Second radiator clamp installed; bypass jumpers in work

A second radiator mounting clamp has been installed on the International Space Station's power truss, completing one of the major objectives of today's spacewalk. Astronauts Christopher Cassidy and Luca Parmitano completed the radiator grapple beam's attachment to the left side of the power truss at 11:43 a.m.

Running well ahead of schedule, Cassidy is now working to install bypass jumper cables on the Z1 truss atop the central Unity module. The work will be completed during a second spacewalk next Tuesday. The jumper cables will enable flight controllers to quickly reconfigure electrical loads in the wake of failures that otherwise would require a spacewalk.

Parmitano, meanwhile, got off the station's robot arm and stowed his foot restraint.

He and Cassidy plan to meet back up to install a protective cover over the station's forward port where space shuttles once docked. After the cover is in place, the spacewalkers will make their way back to the Quest airlock.


11:05 AM EDT, 07/09/13: First radiator clamp installed; astronauts ahead of schedule

Luca Parmitano and Christopher Cassidy have successfully mounted the first of two large clamps on the International Space Station's power truss. The clamps, known as radiator grapple beams, or RGBs would be used to secure large cooling radiators during any future repair or replacement.

The first RGB was installed on the right side of the power truss at 10:45 a.m. Parmitano, mounted on the end of the station's robot arm, then moved back toward the center of the station to retrieve a failed camera assembly mounted on the arm's mobile base station. He planned to hand the camera off to Cassidy, who will carry it to the station's airlock.

Parmitano then will pick up the second RGB and arm operator Karen Nyberg will move him toward the other side of the power truss where he and Cassidy will attach it to mounting brackets.

After the second RGB is installed, Cassidy will begin work to connect electrical bypass jumpers on the Z1 truss. The jumper cables will enable flight controllers to quickly reconfigure electrical loads in the wake of failures that otherwise would require a spacewalk.

Three hours into a planned 6.5-hour spacewalk, Cassidy and Parmitano were running about 25 minutes ahead of schedule.