Russian Cosmonauts Exit International Space Station To Activate New Robotic Arm

Roscosmos Cosmonauts Denis Matveev and Oleg Artemyev

Roscosmos cosmonauts (from left) Denis Matveev and Oleg Artemyev are pictured during a spacewalk on April 18, 2022, to configure the European robotic arm. Credit: NASA

Expedition 67 Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev of Roscosmos began Russian spacewalk 53 at 10:58 a.m. EDT to continue activating the new European robotic arm – a 37-foot-long manipulator system mounted to the recently arrived Nauka module. This spacewalk is expected to last at least 6 ½ hours.

During a spacewalk on April 18, which lasted for 6 hours and 37 minutes, Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev installed and connected a control panel for the European robotic arm. The cosmonauts also removed protective covers from the arm and installed handrails on Nauka. The arm will be used to move spacewalkers and payloads around the Russian segment of the station.

Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

During today’s spacewalk, the cosmonaut duo will monitor the first commanded movements of the robotic arm from its grapple fixtures after removing thermal blankets and launch locks. The arm’s end effectors will translate one at a time to new base points. The crew also will install more handrails on Nauka.

Artemyev is wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes. Matveev will wear a spacesuit with blue stripes. This is the fifth spacewalk in Artemyev’s career, and the second for Matveev. It is the fifth spacewalk at the station in 2022 and the 250th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.


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