Russian Cosmonauts Begin Spacewalk

MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti) – Two Russian cosmonauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) started a six-hour spacewalk on Friday to carry out a number of maintenance tasks, Russian Mission Control said.

Flight Engineers Pavel Vinogradov and Roman Romanenko are set to install the Obstanovka experiment package on the station’s Zvezda service module. Obstanovka will study plasma waves and the effect of space weather on the Earth’s ionosphere.

They will also retrieve the second container from the Biorisk experiment, which studied the effect of microbes on spacecraft structures, and replace a reflector device that will facilitate the docking of the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 when it arrives at the orbital outpost in June.

If time allows, the cosmonauts also will retrieve a section of the Vinoslivost experiment apparatus, which exposed materials samples to space.

Space flight veteran Pavel Vinogradov has already logged a total of 31 hours 41 minutes in open space in his previous six spacewalks, while Roman Romanenko ventures outside the ISS for the first time in his career.


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