Russian cosmonauts install shields and test European Robot Arm on latest spacewalk

by | Aug 10, 2023 | International Space Station, Russia

At 1444 GMT on 9 August 2023, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin , opened the Poisk module hatch to begin their Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) spacewalk (Russian EVA-60). Their mission during this EVA was to attach three debris shields to the outside of the Rassvet module where the radiator and airlock had previously been located. Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev then tested the sturdiness of a portable workstation affixed to adapter at the end of the European Robotic Arm (ERA) which is attached to the Nauka multi-purpose laboratory module. During testing he rode the robotic arm for first time during a spacewalk with cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev controlling the 11.3 metre arm from inside Nauka, with Fedyaev’s fellow spacewalker Petelin observing the ride. With the ERA now equipped with the portable workstation it can now be used to reposition cosmonauts on future spacewalks. Prior to this, crew members transferred between modules using extendable Strela booms which were manually operated.

The protective shrouds and launch restraints that spacewalkers removed from the portable workstation, along with towels used to wipe down their spacesuits, were jettisoned for future re-entry and burn-up.

Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev gives ‘thumbs-up’ during testing of the European Robotic Arm (ERA) Courtesy NASA TV

With all their major objectives complete, the cosmonauts returned to the Poisk airlock where the hatch was closed 2119 GMT and airlock repressurisation began. This EVA concluded after 6 hours and 35 minutes. This spacewalk marked Prokopyev’s eighth and Petelin’s sixth EVA in total. It was the tenth spacewalk at the station in 2023 and the 267th spacewalk for ISS assembly, maintenance and upgrade.

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