Year's first spacewalk on tap

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy during Dec. 27, 2013 spacewalk

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy are gearing up for a planned six-hour spacewalk today, the crew's second attempt to install two cameras for a Canadian company that plans to downlink high-definition Earth views to subscribers around the world.

Floating in the Pirs docking and airlock module, the cosmonauts plan to open a hatch to the vacuum of space at 9:10 a.m. EST to officially kick off the year's first spacewalk.

For identification, station commander Kotov will go by the call sign EV-1. Ryazanskiy will use the call sign EV-2. Both men will be wearing Russian Orlan suits with blue stripes and both will be equipped with NASA helmet cameras.

The primary goals of the excursion are to re-install a steerable high-definition 4K video camera and a fixed medium-resolution still camera on the hull of the Zvezda command module for UrtheCast, a Vancouver-based company that plans to operate the cameras as a commercial venture.

During a spacewalk Dec. 27, Kotov and Ryazanskiy successfully installed the cameras, but a wiring problem prevented data from reaching the ground. The cameras were taken back inside the station for troubleshooting and engineers now believe the problems have been resolved.

  • William Harwood

    Bill Harwood has been covering the U.S. space program full-time since 1984, first as Cape Canaveral bureau chief for United Press International and now as a consultant for CBS News. He covered 129 space shuttle missions, every interplanetary flight since Voyager 2's flyby of Neptune and scores of commercial and military launches. Based at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Harwood is a devoted amateur astronomer and co-author of "Comm Check: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia."