The last outstanding hardware needed before arrival of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), the European-built ISS supply ship due for launch in 2006, has been installed outside the International Space Station (ISS) during a 4 1/2 hour Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) on Monday 28 March.
The antennas will enable ATV and Zvezda to communicate during rendezvous and docking
The two ISS Expedition 10 crewmembers, Commander NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov, who was the operational lead for the EVA, installed the last three of six S-band low gain antennas. The antennas, called WAL 4, 5 and 6, will be used for data transfer between the European ATV and the Russian Zvezda module of the ISS. The antennas were part of a consignment delivered to the ISS by the Progress M-52 spacecraft, which arrived at the Station on 2 March.
Chiao and Sharipov installed the three antennas on the smaller-diameter forward end of Zvezda, with antenna WAL 5 pointing towards the Earth and WAL 4 and 6 upwards. The first three antennas, WAL 1, 2 and 3, were installed by the Expedition 9 crew during a previous EVA on 3 September 2004. Together, the six antennas are part of ESAs Proximity Communication Equipment (PCE) for the ATV, which will enable the ATV and Zvezda to communicate with each other during the automatic rendezvous and docking operations. PCE will also allow the ISS crew to see telemetry information from the ATV and send appropriate commands to the ATV should this be necessary.
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