Two cosmonauts took action on Friday, September 2, to more than make up for a spacewalk interrupted two weeks ago.
Expedition 67 commander Oleg Artemyev and flight engineer Denis Matveev easily surpassed their assigned spacewalk missions in 7 hours and 47 minutes. International Space station Spacewalk starting at 9:25 a.m. EDT (1325 GMT).
“You’ve done more than you thought you could do! It’s very productive,” a representative from Moscow Mission Control told the cosmonauts immediately after closing the hatch. (Transmission was in Russian; translation available in English on NASA Television.)
Working one hour, 10 minutes ahead of schedule, Artemyev and Matveev completed multiple missions to configure the European Robotic Arm and completed a progression mission to extend the long Strela boom crane between the Poisk and FGB modules in the orbital complex. Russian side.
“These explosions have a lot of inertia,” commented one of the spacewalkers in the middle of the stretch.
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There were Artemyev and Matveev back to the airlock early august 17 after Orlan space suits had a battery problem. (NASA has not disclosed how Roscosmos is considering the issue or deciding to continue its spacewalks; this time, the spacesuits did not have any power issues.)
The remaining tasks on today’s tour were quickly completed, including installing a work platform on the Nauka module, configuring a control panel and grasping the “end effector” of the arm, and performing some isolation maneuvers between locations, among other tasks.
Alongside the boom extension, an important spacewalk goal was met when spacewalkers successfully tested a mechanism that would help the arm grasp payloads of more than nine tons in space.
The cosmonauts also had a few moments to take in the sights of Earth, including witnessing devastating wildfires and smoke over California. “You can see these bushfires. It’s impressive,” commented one of the space walkers, in the second hour of extravehicular activity, shortly before 11:20 p.m. EDT (1520 GMT).
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On their previous trip in August. Lasting 17, 2.5 hours, the duo completed enough work for European controllers to make the first move on the arm in August. 24.
“This initial move involved releasing the payload (a single pin latch and adapter for the cosmonaut support vehicle) from the Nauka, moving it to the other side of the module, and then attaching it back to its original position,” European Space Agency officials said. stated (opens in new tab). (The Nauka is the Russian module that the arm launched into space in July 2021.)
The arm moved a small suitcase-sized load during testing, but when fully ready it will be able to lift loads with a mass of around 9 tons. Controllers are planning a more ambitious arm test in mid-September to assess brakes, joint motion, force control and camera image quality.
NASA said Friday’s spacewalk marks the eighth for Artemyev and the fourth for Matveev. It was also eighth on the ISS in 2022 and 253rd to support its assembly and maintenance since 1998. previous spacewalks.
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