Walk of the Russian cosmonauts.NIUS
Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov have prepared the arrival of the new Russian Nauka module, scheduled for summer
This is the sixth spacewalk this year on the International Space Station (ISS) and the first of both astronauts.
One step and … emptiness. This is how we imagine from Earth what it must be like to walk through space. An experience that few have access to. Two of those privileged have been Russian astronauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, that have left the International Space Station (ISS) this Wednesday to carry out the first spacewalk of the mission ‘Expedition 65’. The 48th Russian space departure began at 08:53 local time, and It has gone on for seven hours and 19 minutes.
Engineers have been preparing the orbital post for the arrival of the new Russian module. They have both exited the Poisk module, in their spacesuits, and have worked in the Pirs compartment, which will be uncoupled this summer. It will be replaced by the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module – which means ‘science’ in Russian. Approximately two days after the launch of Nauka from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the disposal of the Pirs module will proceed.
During the spacewalk, among other things, the duo disconnected the external mechanical links between Pirs and the space station, relocated some of the hardware -including a telescopic crane- and reconfigured the antennas to prepare for decoupling.
It was the first space exit for both cosmonauts, which arrived at the International Station in April. It also marks the sixth spacewalk of 2021. In addition to the work at Pirs, they have changed a fluid flow regulator and replaced the scientific biological and material samples on the exterior of the Russian modules.
The two cosmonauts share the orbital forward port with NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough, and Megan McArthur; with Akihiko Hoshide, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and with Thomas Pesquet, from the European Space Agency (ESA). Americans are waiting for the next launch this Thursday of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship, Elon Musk’s company.