Source Pravda.Ru

Space station repairs to be rehearsed underwater

Cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov and astronaut Leroy Chiao, the reserve members of the present crew of the International Space Station (ISS), will rehearse repairing a gyroscope outside the ISS at Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) in America, NASA public relations coordinator in Russia Sergei Puzanov told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow at the NBL in Ellington near Houston, training will be conducted to determine the consequences of repair operations outside the space station," he said. "The stand-by crew will work underwater."

They will wear American EMU pressurized suits. However, the fastening lines and special belts for instruments will be Russian. "Specialists will attentively watch Sharipov and Chiao's underwater training and based on the training, they will make recommendations to Padalka and Fincke, who are now in orbit," Mr. Puzanov said.

NASA officially asked Russia to organize an unscheduled spacewalk to repair the American gyroscope on the ISS. The astronaut will be wearing Russian Orlan-M pressurized suits. The spacewalk is scheduled for the night of June 15.

Commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineer Michael Fincke will have to go out of the Russian docking compartment and travel 20 meters with the Russian freight boom to reach the broken gyroscope. In the initial plan, the crew were going to leave from the American segment of the station, which would mean that they would only have to travel 10 meters.