At 1617 GMT on 15 August 2018,  Cosmonauts Oleg Artemev and Sergey Prokopyev opened the hatch of the Pirs module on the International Space Station (ISS) to start a seven hour 46 minute spacewalk. The EVA ended  at 0003 GMT on 16 August with the spacewalkers re-entering the Pirs module. While they had other work to do on the ISS itself, their first job was to release four cubesats by hand which had been carried to the space station via Progress spacecraft.  First was the 4.8kg 3U Cubesat, Tanyusha Yuzgu 3 (Tanyusha-SWSU-3) which was released at 1643 GMT.  Its sister cubesat Tanyusha Yuzgu 4 (Tanyusha-SWSU-4)  was released at 1645 GMT.  The pair were originally carried to the ISS by Progress MS-08 and are designed to make air density measurements and to test autonomous operations.  The satellites also carry an amateur communications payload.

Cosmonaut view during the August 2018 spacewalk. Courtesy: Roscosmos

Carried to the ISS by Progress MS-09, the 1.3kg 1U cubesat SIRIUSSAT 1 was released at 1651 GMT and its sister, SIRIUSSAT-2, at 1656 GMT.  Both cubesats were built by the Sirius Education School in Sochi as educational/training and science satellites.

The cosmonaut pair then retrieved the space experiment “Environment” which had been gathering data on microorganisms, having been placed outside on the Zvezda Module in 2017. They also installed the “Icarus (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) experiment on the outside of the Zvezda Module. Icarus is a DLR/Roscosmos collaboration to study the migratory patterns of small animals on Earth. It consists of an antenna and GPS hardware to track the movement of animals that have been tagged with small GPS receivers.

David Todd contributed to this story.