by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Aug 10, 2015
Two Russian cosmonauts on Monday added new equipment outside the International Space Station and took pictures to study its exterior during a five-and-a-half hour spacewalk.
The outing was the 188th in support of the space station and the 10th of Gennady Padalka's career, a veteran cosmonaut and grandfather who is serving as commander of the ISS.
In June, Padalka, 57, set the world record for the most time spent in space with a total of 803 days.
His spacewalking partner was Mikhail Kornienko, 55, undertaking his second walkabout in space.
Hours into the rigorous spacewalk, Padalka and Kornienko playfully taunted each other over whose hands were coldest and who had the most spirit, according to live footage broadcast on the websites of the Russian and US space agencies.
The spacewalk was over at 1951 GMT, an hour ahead of schedule. It lasted a total of five hours and 31 minutes, NASA said.
Padalka and Kornienko installed devices -- known as gap spanners -- on the hull of the station to help "facilitate the movement of crew members on future spacewalks," NASA said.
They also cleaned windows, installed fasteners on communications antennas, replaced an aging antenna used for the rendezvous and docking of visiting vehicles at Russian docking ports, and took pictures of locations and hardware on Zvezda and nearby modules.
Floating against the bright blue oceans and white clouds of Earth, the astronauts filmed the outing with small handheld cameras, constantly communicating with each other and Russian mission control outside Moscow.
Once they get out of their spacesuits, they will be able to sample their first bites of space-grown red romaine lettuce that their colleagues have saved for them.
Two US and one Japanese astronaut tasted the lettuce earlier in the day Monday.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren described the leafy greens as "awesome."
Scott Kelly, who is spending one year aboard the ISS with Kornienko, said the leaf tasted a bit like arugula.
The ability to cultivate food during a trip to Mars in the coming decades will be key to surviving the trip, which could last months or years.
"This payload, and having the ability for us to grow our own food is a big step in that direction," Kelly said.
The next spacewalk around the Russian section is set for January or February 2016, space industry official Alexander Kaleri told TASS state news agency on Monday.
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|