Russian Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk Replacing Space Station Hardware

Cosmonaut Dmitri Petelin Spacewalk

Cosmonaut Dmitri Petelin is pictured behind a solar array during a spacewalk to remove and replace science and communications hardware on the Roscosmos’ segment of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin began a spacewalk at 10:24 a.m. EDT on June 22 to retrieve several experiment packages from the Zvezda and Poisk modules and install communications equipment outside the International Space Station.

Prokopyev was wearing an Orlan spacesuit with red stripes, while Petelin was wearing a suit with blue stripes. They concluded their spacewalk at 4:48 p.m. EDT after 6 hours and 24 minutes. This was the seventh spacewalk in Prokopyev’s career, and the fifth for Petelin. It is the ninth spacewalk at the station in 2023 and the 266th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.

Roscomos Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin Spacewalk

Roscomos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin are seen at work during a spacewalk on November 17, 2022. Credit: NASA TV

On June 23, the Expedition 69 crew wrapped up its work week by loading a cargo vehicle for its upcoming return to Earth and cleaning up following Thursday’s spacewalk. Other activities for the International Space Station residents on Friday included a robotics competition and life support maintenance.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle will end its stay at the orbital outpost on June 29 after delivering two roll-out solar arrays and several tons of science gear, crew supplies, and station hardware on June 6. NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg began finalizing the cargo work inside the Dragon cargo spacecraft on Friday. At the end of the day, NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio joined Hoburg transferring research samples from the station’s science freezers into Dragon’s science transport freezers.

Expedition 69 Flight Engineers Pose for a Portrait

Expedition 69 Flight Engineers (from left) Sultan Alneyadi of UAE (United Arab Emirates), Dmitri Petelin of Roscosmos, and Frank Rubio of NASA pose for a portrait inside the International Space Station’s Harmony module holding a variety of orbital hardware shortly after the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle. Credit: NASA

Earlier in the day, Bowen and Rubio worked together servicing power systems and life support gear. The duo started their work in the Destiny laboratory module replacing a remote power controller module that controls the flow of power throughout the orbital outpost. After lunchtime, the duo rejoined each other in the Harmony module swapping out hardware that circulates, cools, and dehumidifies air in the space station’s U.S. segment.

UAE (United Arab Emirates) Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi assisted the NASA astronauts with the cargo packing job and then worked on orbital plumbing tasks throughout the morning on Friday. In the afternoon, Alneyadi powered up and activated the Astrobee robotic free-flyers located inside the Kibo laboratory module. Afterward, the UAE astronaut monitored the Astrobees as they performed maneuvers controlled by competition-winning algorithms written by students on Earth.

Astrobees on Space Station

Animation of Astrobees on the space station. Credit: NASA

The orbital lab’s three cosmonauts slept in on Friday following their six-hour and 24-minute spacewalk the day before to replace science and communications hardware on the station’s Roscosmos segment. The spacewalk was Commander Sergey Prokopyev’s and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin’s fifth together. After they woke up mid-morning, the trio, including Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev, spent the rest of the day stowing spacewalk tools, cleaning spacesuits, and reorganizing the Poisk airlock.

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