Mir’s Russian-American crew watched a video Monday of simulated repair work on the orbiting space station, preparing for two spacewalks next week in an ongoing effort to increase the Mir’s power supply.
Cosmonauts Anatoly Solovyov and Pavel Vinogradov also read instructions and prepared their equipment, said Vera Medvedkova, a Mission Control spokeswoman.
During the first spacewalk, set for Monday, they must remove a worn-out solar panel. The cosmonauts will install a new one in a spacewalk three days later.
The crew is carrying out a series of salvage spacewalks intended to restore Mir’s power supply, damaged in a June collision with a cargo ship, which depressurized one of the station’s modules, the Spektr.
Four of Mir’s 10 solar panels - among the newest and thus most effective - were unusable for months. After two repair missions inside the airless Spektr, the latest last week, two of the panels once again are fully operational and a third is supplying some power. The fourth was damaged beyond repair in the collision. xxxx