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Russian Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk After Almost Eight Hours in Space

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Early on Saturday, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveyev completed their spacewalk that began on Friday afternoon and lasted almost eight hours, according to a live broadcast by Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.

“Hatch is closed,” said Artemyev, who is also a TASS special correspondent aboard the station.

The cosmonauts began their spacewalk at 16:25 Moscow time on Friday, spending 7 hours and 47 minutes in space. It was the eighth spacewalk for Artemyev and fourth for Matveyev.

Their extravehicular activities included installing a payload adapter on the Nauka module, allowing to position scientific payload on the outer surface of the station. They also adjusted the Torque Rigidizing Mechanism (TRM) on KR-1 effector of the ERA robotic arm and tested ERA controls using the EMMI panel.

The cosmonauts also dismantled launch fixation rings of the ERA robotic arm, attached to the Russian segment of the ISS. They were expected to dispose of those elements by jettisoning them into space, but the operation has been removed from the spacewalk’s schedule in order to avoid creating potential hazards for the upcoming NASA mission.

“Main tasks related to the final integration of the ERA robotic arm have been fulfilled,” Dmitry Akhmerov, a lead engineer of the Extravehicular Activities Department of Russia’s state-run rocket and space corporation RSC Energia, said during the live forecast of the spacewalk.

Artemyev, who is a TASS correspondent aboard the ISS, took a TASS logo to space to congratulate the Russian news agency with its 118th anniversary. The logo was attached to the cosmonaut’s tool bag.

The previous spacewalk by Artmyev and Matveyev was held on August 17. Back then, the cosmonauts had to cut the spacewalk short due to power supply problems in one of the spacesuits. This time, a Mission Control center specialist emphasized during the broadcast that the spacesuit batteries were working well.

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