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Russian cosmonauts activate robotic arm on ISS during spacewalk
by Sheri Walsh
Washington DC (UPI) Apr 18, 2021

Two Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station on Monday completed the first of two spacewalks to activate the station's new European Robotic Arm.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev left the Russian Nauka module at 11:00 a.m. EDT to install the automated arm's control panel, finishing up their work and returning to the ISS around 5:48 p.m. EDT.

NASA's website live-streamed the cosmonauts' nearly seven hours of work during the spacewalk to activate the 37-foot long arm, which will be used to transport heavy items and help space walkers.

The European Space Agency says the new arm will navigate across the Russian segment of the space station and can carry a load of up to 17,000 pounds. It is one of three systems that can carry and move large objects outside the ISS.

A second spacewalk for the cosmonauts is scheduled for April 28, when they will remove the arm's protective thermal blankets and test its mobility.

The European Robotic Arm joins another remote arm known as 'Canadarm2,' which covers the U.S. section of the space station. The Japanese Kibo module is a smaller robotic arm that supports experiments in the module's exposed facility.

The European Robotic Arm was built in 1996 and has been in storage for more than a decade. Philippe Schoonejansm, the European Space Agency's ERA project manager, says the arm "can be fully preprogrammed in advance, which is helpful.

"It can be operated from external control panel, which the others do not have," Schoonejansm said.

NASA astronauts have been living and working with the Russian cosmonauts at the ISS amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

NASA astronaut Dr. Tom Marshburn said Friday it's been a "collegial, very friendly relationship together up here, and we're working together."

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NASA sets coverage for Russian spacewalks
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 14, 2022
NASA will provide coverage of spacewalks Monday, April 18, and Thursday, April 28, as Russian cosmonauts venture outside the International Space Station to activate a new robotic arm attached to the Nauka module. Coverage for both spacewalks will begin at 10 a.m. EDT each day on NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency's website. Each spacewalk is scheduled to begin around 10:25 a.m. Expedition 67 Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev of Roscosmos will conduct Russian spacewalks ... read more

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