Russian Astronauts Venture outside the ISS for a Six-Hour Spacewalk


Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev, two astronauts from the Russian space agency have finished their six-hour long spacewalk. It began at 11:58 a.m. EDT on 15 August, when they exited the Pirs airlock. Live coverage of the spacewalk started at 11:15 a.m. and it was streamed on NASA TV. The spacewalk was also streamed on the Space website.

The Spacewalk Mission

Artemyev and Prokopyev weren’t out just for a… spacewalk. They had a lot of things to complete during the long mission. They had to manually launch four satellites, get material science samples from the Zvezda service module and install a new experiment.

All dressed in their pressurized spacesuits; the Russian cosmonauts got ready to release the tiny CubeSats.

Two of the CubeSats are the Tanyusha satellites, which were created by students at Southwestern State University to learn more about spacecraft autonomy technology and measure the vacuum of space.

The other two are called SiriusSat, which have been assembled by Russian schoolchildren. SiriusSats contain particle detectors.

After the deployment of the four nanosatellites, the astronauts focused on installing the cables and antennas of an experiment called ICARUS, which is a project developed by the Russian and German space agencies. ICARUS will study the patterns of small migratory animals on Earth. It has an antenna and GPS hardware that will track any animals that were tagged with GPS receivers. This experiment will allow researchers find out more about how the animals move from an area to another, how the density of animal population shifts through time and how they spread diseases.

This is the 212 spacewalk in the ISS history, also marking the third spacewalk in Artemyev’s career and the first one for Prokopyev.

Before going outside, Prokopyev and Artemyev worked on their spacesuits and attached their GoPro cameras for the live footage. They also had a hearty meal ending with Russian candy to prepare for the long and exhausting mission.


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