Two Russian cosmonauts will spend hours spacewalking outside the International Space Station today (April 28) and you can watch them work in the void live online.
Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos will take a 6.5-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station to outfit its newest laboratory module Nauka. The spacewalk is expected to begin at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), according to NASA.
“The duo will jettison thermal blankets used to protect the arm during its July 2021 launch with Nauka,” NASA officials wrote in a statement. “They will also flex the arm’s joints, release launch restraints, and monitor the arm’s ability to use two grapple fixtures.”
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Today’s spacewalk is the second in as many weeks for Artemyev and Matveev as they work on the Nauka module. On April 18, the cosmonauts spent 6.5 hours working on Nauka’s European Robotic Arm to begin configuring it for long-term operations in orbit.
The European Robotic Arm is a 37-foot-long (11.3 meters) robotic appendage designed to be used by cosmonauts while working inside or outside the station. It can “walk” end-over-end like an inchworm along the station’s hull similar to the outpost’s older Canadarm2 built for the Canadian Space Agency and will bring more of the station’s Russian segment in within reach of robotic operations.
Artemyev and Matveev will wear Russian-built Orlan spacesuits during their spacewalk today, with Artemyev in a suit with red stripes while Matveev’s suit will bear blue stripes. It will be the fifth spacewalk of Artemyev’s career and the second for Matveev.
The spacewalk will also mark the fifth of the year at the International Space Station and the 250th spacewalk dedicated to station assembly, maintenance or upgrades, NASA officials have said.