Cosmonauts full Russian spacewalk to combine Prichal node

Two Russian cosmonauts have performed a spacewalk on the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) to completely configure and combine the outpost’s latest module to help future operations. 

The 2 spacewalkers, Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, started their work at 12:17:31 UTC and concluded the EVA seven hours 11 minutes later at 19:28 UTC.

Spacewalk procedures

Russian EVA-51 was carried out by cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov, sporting Russian Orlan spacesuits. Each had performed Extravehicular Actions (EVAs, or spacewalks) earlier than, and Dubrov wore the go well with with the blue stripes whereas Shkaplerov wore the go well with with the purple stripes.

The primary duties for as we speak’s EVA revolved round readying the brand new Node Module, Prichal, to help future dockings by Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, together with set up of {hardware} to permit for automated rendezvous and dockings.

To assist impact this, a number of now-unneeded objects from Prichal’s rendezvous and docking with the ISS in November 2021 have been eliminated or repurposed.


The primary job for the duo after exiting the Mini Analysis Module-2 (MRM-2), additionally named Poisk, airlock was to arrange a operated by hand Strela crane. This telescopic crane, which is mounted to the skin of Poisk, was prolonged all the way down to the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM), named Nauka.

Nauka arrived on the ISS in July 2021 after an eventful post-launch interval in orbit.

For as we speak’s EVA, Dubrov and Shkaplerov secured the opposite finish of the Strela crane to a handrail on Nauka. Strela then primarily acted as a really lengthy handrail, or bridge, between Poisk and Nauka, permitting cosmonauts to transit between the 2 modules extra shortly.

After securing Strela, cosmonauts then transfered tools to the worksite on the junction between Nauka and the newly arrived Prichal, which was the main focus space for as we speak’s actions.

Shkaplerov and Dubrov then eliminated thermal covers from a number of handrails and tether factors, following which they put in the primary of two short-cuts between handrails to afford future spacewalkers higher translation choices between areas on the skin of Nauka and Prichal.

Subsequent on the schedule was the set up of a number of cables for the automated Kurs rendezvous system that should be correctly routed between Nauka and Prichal now that each modules are safely collectively on the ISS.

Following this, a brand new collection of rendezvous antennas have been put in onto Prichal to permit approaching spacecraft to robotically information themselves to the docking port by way of positioning, vary, and fee info.

A TV digicam was then moved to a brand new location on Prichal. This operation concerned demating and re-mating a number of cables between Nauka and Prichal.

The digicam was beforehand used to supply video throughout Prichal’s rendezvous and docking with Nauka; it is going to now be used to supply video of spacecraft approaching Prichal for docking.

A docking goal cross was additionally put in onto Prichal throughout Russian EVA-51 to permit future approaching autos to correctly align with Prichal’s nadir docking port by way of their onboard TV cameras.

Credit score: NASA

After this, Shkaplerov took time to collect an antenna and two empty containers of trash to jettison them overboard to ultimately deplete in Earth’s ambiance.

Disposing of enormous items of apparatus overboard of the Station, tools that’s too massive to be introduced again inside the Worldwide Area Station for a damaging return to Earth in an uncrewed resupply craft, is a typical apply.

Particles jettisoned from the ISS is massive sufficient to be tracked and monitored to make sure it doesn’t pose a threat to different autos in orbit throughout its passive orbital decay interval earlier than reentry.

Following this exercise, a now-unneeded floodlight used throughout Prichal’s rendezvous to supply sufficient lighting so the node’s cameras might correctly see the docking goal was eliminated.

After the set up of a second short-cut between handrails, three unneeded rendezvous antennas have been then taken off Prichal. These antennas are now not required now that Prichal is completely docked to Nauka.

The three antennas have been then jettisoned overboard.

This concluded the EVA’s major duties, permitting Dubrov and Shkaplerov to scrub up their work areas and translate to the Poisk airlock.

With the spacewalk full, Prichal is now able to help dockings to its nadir port, the primary of which is scheduled for March 18 with Soyuz MS-21.

Russian EVA-51 was a part of a collection of roughly six spacewalks over 2022 to completely combine Nauka into the ISS. Further Russian EVAs — starting in April — will see the commissioning of Nauka’s European Robotic Arm (ERA), which can embody the set up of an exterior management panel to permit cosmonauts to manually function the arm.

(Lead picture: Prichal, proper, after its modified Progress propulsion module departed in December 2021. Credit score: Roscosmos/NASA)

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