Two cosmonauts returned to action Friday (Sept. 2), more than making up for a spacewalk that was aborted two weeks ago.
Expedition 67 Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev easily surpassed their assigned spacewalk duties during a 7-hour, 47-minute spacewalk on the International Space Station that began at 9:25 a.m. EDT (1325 GMT).
“You’ve done more than you set out to do! Very productive,” a representative of Moscow Mission Control told the cosmonauts just after they closed the hatch. (The broadcast was in Russian; interpretation was available in English on NASA Television.)
Artemyev and Matveev worked as much as an hour, 10 minutes ahead of the timeline, completing numerous tasks to configure the European robotic arm, and completed a progressive task to extend the Strela long boom crane between the Poisk and FGB modules on the lane of the complex. Russian side.
“These booms have a lot of inertia,” commented one of the spacewalkers halfway through the extension.
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Artemyev and Matveev had to return to the airlock early on August 17 after one of the Orlan spacesuits had a battery problem. (NASA did not disclose how Roscosmos assessed the issue or decided to continue spacewalks; the spacesuits had no power issues this time.)
On today’s excursion they were quick through the remaining tasks which included installing a work platform on the Nauka module, configuring a control panel and the ‘end effector’ for grabbing the arm and maneuvering some isolation between locations , among other tasks.
In addition to the boom extension, a major goal of the spacewalk was accomplished when the spacewalkers successfully tested a mechanism intended to help the boom grab payloads over nine tons in space.
The cosmonauts also had a few moments to take in Earth, including witnessing devastating wildfires and smoke over California. “You can see those wildfires. That’s impressive,” said one of the spacewalkers shortly before 11:20 a.m. EDT (1520 GMT), during the second hour of extra-vehicular activity.
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During their previous excursion on August 17, which lasted 2.5 hours, the duo did enough work for European controllers to make the first move on the arm on August 24.
“This first move involved releasing the payload — a single pin lock and the cosmonaut support tool adapter — from Nauka, moving it to the other side of the module, and then installing it back to its original position,” officials said. the European Space Agency
(opens in new tab). (Nauka is the Russian module that launched the arm into space in July 2021.)
The arm moved a load the size of a small suitcase during the test, but when fully completed it can lift loads weighing nearly 9 tons. Controllers are planning a more ambitious arm test in mid-September to assess brakes, joint movement, power control and camera image quality.
Friday’s spacewalk was the eighth spacewalk for Artemyev and the fourth for Matveev, NASA said. It was also the eighth on the ISS in 2022 and the 253rd to support assembly and maintenance since 1998, based on data from previous spacewalks.
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