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Russian, European astronauts make rare joint spacewalk at ISS
by Doug Cunningham
Washington DC (UPI) Jul 21, 2021

A Russian cosmonaut and European Space Agency engineer made a several-hour spacewalk at the International Space Station on Thursday to work on a robotic laboratory arm.

The pair began the spacewalk around 10 a.m. EDT and it was scheduled to last about six hours.

The objective of the mission is to continue outfitting the European robotic arm on the ISS Nauka laboratory.

Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos and flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA are carrying out the spacewalk.

The objective of the mission is to continue outfitting the European robotic arm on the ISS Nauka laboratory. Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos and flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA are carrying out the spacewalk. Photo courtesy NASA

NASA said the primary objective is to install platforms and workstation adapter hardware near the 37-foot-long Nauka manipulator system.

The spacewalkers will also relocate the arm's external control panel, replace a protective window on the arm's camera unit and extend a Strela telescoping boom to help facilitate future spacewalks, NASA said.

During the walk, the pair will also deploy 10 nano-satellites that will collect radio electronics.

Artemyev wore a Russian spacesuit with red stripes and Cristoforetti was outfitted in a Russian suit with blue stripes.

NASA said Thursday's is the sixth spacewalk for Artemyev and the first for Cristoforetti, who's also the fourth European astronaut to perform a spacewalk in a Russian spacesuit.

Joint spacewalks involving Russian and ESA astronauts are uncommon, the last having occurred in 1999. Typically, Americans and Europeans or a pair of Russian cosmonauts typically carry out the spacewalks.

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