Spacewalking Cosmonauts Preening Mir
by Norval G. Kennedy
05/12/00 09:36:10 AM U.S. EDT
Two Russian cosmonauts will be outside their Mir space station until about noon Eastern Time today on the first-ever commercial spacewalk. Sergei Zalyotin and Alexander Kalery opened the Kvant-2 module’s hatch at about 6:44 Eastern primarily for a walkaround to check overall condition of the spacecraft and to disassemble science equipment.
They were set to spend about 5 1/2 hrs. inspecting a Kvant solar panel, retrieving a sample of an experimental film solar array and testing equipment that will apply a sealant to the station’s external shell.
Zalyotin and Alexander have been on Mir since April 6 on a long-duration mission for leaseholder MirCorp based in the Netherlands. MirCorp wants to use the 14-year-old station for commercial purposes.