Cosmonauts ready the ISS for a new module

by | Jun 4, 2021 | International Space Station, Russia

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, completed their spacewalk to continue the decommissioning of the Pirs docking compartment. The Expedition 65 Flight Engineers opened the hatch of the Poisk docking compartment on 2 June at 0553 GMT. During the 7 hour and 19-minute EVA, the cosmonauts disconnected external mechanical links between Pirs and the ISS, relocated spacewalk hardware, including the 14 metre Strela boom, a Russian telescoping crane and reconfigured antennas. Equipment was stored on the outside of the ISS for future use.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy on the end of the Russian Strela boom. Courtesy of NASA


This is the second decommissioning mission for Pirs. The first excursion taking place November 2020. The cosmonauts also replaced a fluid flow regulator panel on the nearby Zarya module. The 20 year-old Pirs is planned to be replaced by the long-delayed Nauka MLM (Multipurpose Laboratory Module) in July 2021. This was the first spacewalk for both cosmonauts and the 238th spacewalk overall in support of the ISS assembly, maintenance, and upgrades. It was the sixth spacewalk this year.

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