Two Russian cosmonauts leave ISS for spacewalk

Two Russian cosmonauts left the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-hour spacewalk on Wednesday during which they plan to carry out a manual launch of a mini-satellite and install new stream video equipment on the station’s outer surface.

This is the first spacewalk for cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyayev and the third for his colleague Sergei Volkov.

The launch of the Kedr mini-satellite, designed to transmit greeting messages in 17 languages, Earth photos and telemetry data from its service systems, was delayed after the cosmonauts discovered that one of its two antennas was missing. It was later discovered hidden inside the satellite, whose name is derived from Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s call sign. The cosmonauts are now attempting to remove the antenna from inside and secure it onto the satellite.

The new research equipment to be installed by Samokutyayev and Volkov will allow the exchange of stream video packages between the station and Earth.

The cosmonauts will also install three containers with microorganisms and mushroom spores on the Pirs docking compartment to study their influence on materials used in spacecraft construction.

At the end of their spacewalk, the Russians will take pictures holding photos of the first cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, spacecraft designer Sergei Korolyov and Soviet astronautic theory pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky with Earth on the background.

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