Image: Flight engineer Barratt and Commander Padalka work side by side during their spacewalk from the International Space Station.
Nasa TV  /  Reuters
Flight engineer Mike Barratt (L) and Commander Gennady Padalka (R) work side by side during their spacewalk from the International Space Station in this image from NASA TV.
updated 6/5/2009 10:35:46 AM ET 2009-06-05T14:35:46

Two international space station crew members wrapped up a successful spacewalk Friday, the first since the size of the station's crew expanded from three to six last month.

The effort, which prepared the station for the addition of a new Russian module, started more than a half-hour late after sensors registered elevated carbon dioxide readings in the Orlon-MK space suits worn by both space walkers.

High concentrations of the gas can cause dizziness, nausea and other problems, but both crew members said they felt fine and a spokesman for the Russian space agency said the problem resolved itself.

Commander Gennady Padalka, a veteran Russian cosmonaut, and Flight Engineer Mike Barratt, a U.S. astronaut on his first space mission, installed a pair of antennae for automated rendezvous equipment during the 4-hour, 54-minute spacewalk.

They also hooked up electrical connectors for the antennae, and took photos of a manually operated crane used during Russian spacewalks.

The modifications were intended to prepare the station for the arrival of the Russian Mini Research Module-2, or MRM2, later this year. The module will serve as an additional docking port for Russian vehicles.

Padalka is a veteran of the Soviet-built Mir space station, and Friday's spacewalk was his seventh.

Both space walkers wore new Russian Orlan-MK suits, with advanced telemetry equipment. The computer in the suit's backpack processes data from the spacesuit's various systems and warns of malfunctions.

In an emergency, the computer flashes a contingency plan on an LCD screen on the right chest part of the spacesuit.

The space station's permanent crew expanded from three to six in May, with the launch of three crew members from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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