Spacewalkers collect experiment, toss flash drive overboard

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Spacewalking Russians gathered seeds and spores that have been stuck outside the International Space Station for months if not years and gave a ceremonial send-off Wednesday to a flash drive containing special messages for their motherland.

See Full Article

Cosmonaut Sergey Volkov waited for good camera views before tossing the flash drive overboard as the space station sailed 250 miles (402 kilometres) above the Pacific. The blue, cloud-specked Earth provided a stunning backdrop.

The flash drive includes videos and messages pertaining to the 70th anniversary of Russia's Victory Day last year. It was attached to a small bundle stuffed with towels to provide some bulk.

"There it goes," Volkov said in Russian as he let go of the package with his right gloved hand. "Just beautiful," he noted as it spun slowly, appearing to tumble toward Earth. Spacewalking partner Yuri Malenchenko floated nearby.

"That's perfect guys," Russian Mission Control radioed from outside Moscow.

The job was added just a few days ago. NASA said the jettisoned package would pose no hazard to the orbiting lab. Flight controllers expect the bundle to harmlessly re-enter the atmosphere in a few weeks.

With that accomplished, the spacewalkers set off to retrieve research equipment that has been outdoors since 2009. The trays include plant seeds as well as spores from fungi and bacteria; the specimens typically were replenished every year or two and returned to Earth for analysis. The cosmonauts set out fresh experiments elsewhere on the space station, then found themselves fussing over a dispenser in a surface- coating experiment.

The roll of tapelike film in the dispenser kept jamming, frustrating Malenchenko and Volkov as they tried to coat an outdoor sample board. Only one attempt appeared to succeed.

"It glued on so nicely. It's like a perfect sticker," one of the spacewalkers reported. "Are we done?" They weren't, but Russian Mission Control advised them a few minutes later to wrap it up and head back in.

The spacewalk lasted nearly five hours.

NASA, meanwhile, is still trying to understand why water leaked into a U.S. astronaut's helmet last month.

The Jan. 15 spacewalk had to be cut short because of the problem, a repeat of what happened to an Italian spacewalker in 2013. That first incident was considerably more serious, involving much more leakage.

The Russians use different types of suits, which functioned well Wednesday. As for U.S. spacewalks, astronauts will go out only in an emergency until the leakage is understood and corrected, according to NASA.

Six men currently live at the space station: three Russians, two Americans and one Briton.


Latest Tech & Science News

  • U.S. presidential election uses hodge-podge of voting technology

    Tech & Science CBC News
    When Americans go the polls on Nov. 8, they'll be casting votes using a wide array of technology, from touchscreens to pen and paper. In light of Donald Trump's claims of election fraud — and with the memory of the disputed presidential election of 2000 still looming — that technology could be under more scrutiny than ever in this year's presidential election. Source
  • Attacks that disrupted Twitter, Paypal, Spotify were just a dry run, hackers say

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids' toys bring the internet to its knees? It's beginning to look that way. On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across North America and Europe such as Twitter, Netflix and PayPal. Source
  • Attacks on the internet getting bigger and nastier

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids' toys bring the internet to its knees? It's beginning to look that way. On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. Source
  • Glenn Greenwald weighs in on WikiLeaks data dump on Clinton

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Two people at the heart of the most earth-shattering leaks of stolen data in the past few years are at odds about how those troves of documents should be handled in public. "You'd have to be a sociopath to think that we ought to just take all of this material and dump it all on the internet without regard to the impact that it will have for innocent people," says Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported on the massive document leak provided to him by former U.S. Source
  • Alberta to spend more to cut methane emissions

    Tech & Science CTV News
    EDMONTON - Alberta plans to spend more money to cut methane emissions. Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says another $33 million will be added to the $7 million already pledged to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas by 45 per cent by 2025. Source
  • 'Red Dead Redemption 2' - 3 ways it could fail [Photos]

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    Saddle up, pardner. It looks like we’re going back to the Wild West. Rockstar Games, the video game empire behind the juggernaut Grand Theft Auto series, set the Internet on fire this week by releasing mysterious images that suggest – nay, outright declare – another game in the Red Dead series is on its way. Source
  • Cyberattacks disrupt Twitter, Netflix, PlayStation Network, others

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    LONDON — Cyberattacks on a key Internet firm repeatedly disrupted the availability of popular websites across the United States on Friday, according to analysts and company officials. The attack had knock-on effects for users trying to access popular websites from across America, Canada and even in Europe. Source
  • Russian indicted on charges he hacked LinkedIn

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- A Russian man has been charged with hacking and stealing information from computers at LinkedIn and other San Francisco Bay Area companies, federal prosecutors announced Friday. A grand jury indicted Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, 29, of Moscow, Russia, on Thursday on charges including computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Source
  • Why it's so hard to land on Mars: Bob McDonald

    Tech & Science CBC News
    It looks more and more like the Schiaparelli lander crashed on Mars this week, a huge disappointment for the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. But the incident is only the last in a long history of robot missions to Mars, where almost 60 per cent have failed for one reason or another. Source
  • Jeremy the snail is rare, lonely and looking for love

    Tech & Science CBC News
    more stories from this episodeFacial recognition software 'sounds like science fiction,' but may affect half of AmericansJeremy the snail is rare, lonely and looking for loveFull Episode Jeremy is looking for love. But Jeremy has a problem. Source