According to news sources, during a six-hour spacewalk at the International Space station, American and Russian crewmen installed a probe for the purpose of detecting problems with the Russian Soyuz module, but in a setback towards the end of the mission, they had to remove the device soon after due to data transmission problems. A NASA video feed depicted the activities of Fincke and Lonchakov in their Russian-built space suits as they departed from the station via a hatch on its docking compartment some 200 miles above the Earth.
Fincke said in Russian on the NASA feed that carried on the Internet:
“OK, going out into space again. It's good to be here.”
Russian scientists hope data from the probe installed by Fincke will help explain malfunctions that have repeatedly occurred as the Russian Soyuz module has attempted to separate from the space station. In two prior descents, one in October of 07 and the other in April of 08, the module entered the earth’s atmosphere too steeply after detaching from the station. Investigators believe this occurred because an exploding connector known as a pyrobolt, which keeps the module fixed to the space station, failed to detonate on schedule.
Fincke and Lonchakov discovered a problem with the data transmission of the device they installed and successfully placed another device on the same platform to measure the plasma environment around the station. The two space walkers kept up their spirits with light-hearted banter and camaraderie.
Does outer space offer a new and viable future for all of us?
So it would seem, but then again, no one has asked the other galaxies how THEY feel about that!