Yesterday, while those of us in the U.S. were having lunch, Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Yuri Malenchenko were walking in space. And they were tossing spaceballs.
The pair spent nearly six hours working outside the International Space Station, moving the Strela-2 — a hand-operated, telescoping crane — from one module of the spacecraft to another, installing new debris shields, and heaving a 20-pound, spherical satellite into orbit. According to SPACE.com, Russian scientists hope to use the 21-inch-wide steel-encased ball to test techniques for monitoring space junk. Cameras inside Padalka's helmet and on the hull of the ISS captured the some beautiful footage of the spacewalk, including some great shots of Padalka releasing the sphere below and behind the station, in order to prevent it from colliding with the ISS in the future.
All photos courtesy NASA TV via SPACE.com, click any image to enlarge
Malenchenko and Padalka working on the Strela-2 crane
SA view of Earth from Padalka's helmet cam
SPadalka, pictured left, carries the satellite seconds before releasing it into orbit
SPadalka releases the satellite
SA camera aboard the ISS looks on as the steel-encased sphere drifts away
SThe satellite, barely visible in the gap between the ISS and Earth.
SA detailed view of the satellite's design