Two Russian ISS crew members: Sergey Volkov and Yuri Malenchenko performed today second spacewalk in 2016.
This time two Russian cosmonauts were guest stars in NASA TV during 193th spacewalk (42th performed by Russian ISS crew members) performed on International Space Station. Dressed in Orlan space suits Lt. Col. Sergey Volkov and Col. Yuri Malenchenko entered outer space at 12:55 GMT from Pirs module airlock to perform various science researches (Orlan space suits were equipped with cameras and light system to provide live video broadcast). Both cosmonauts are not newbies – Volkov has spent 18 hours 35 minutes in space and Malenchenko – 30 hours and 5 minutes (Malenchenko performed his first two spacewalks on Mir space station). Today’s spacewalk was planned to be part of science experiment on influence of outer space to various materials and microbiological experiments but cosmonauts were also tasked with ISS Assembly & Maintenance objectives.
First task was collecting samples from the surface of outer surfaces of ISS (one of planned place to gather samples is window 8 of Zvezda module). These parts are necessary for research on influence of outer space to various materials and give answer how burned fuel, gases, temperature and radiation are effecting on weathering of various materials in space. Next task was reaching Expose-R test sample container (which is part of ESA astrobiological research program) attached to Zvezda in August 2014. Malenchenko and Volkov took pictures of container and install on it special protective cover, disconnected electrical connectors and detached container to bring it back to Pirs. Container was filled with various microbiological material which will be analyzed on Earth. Next objective was detaching CKK 2-M2 experiment cassette and swapping for CKK 3-M2. It is experiment on influence of outer space for contamination of materials which will be used for manufacturing future spacecrafts. Next task was visual control of surfaces of ISS which are most exposed to gases from thrusters of vehicles docking to ISS. After that, both cosmonauts got to the Poisk module to gather Vinoslivost payload. It is another experiment devoted to studies on influence of outer space to corrosion processes. All material experiments are crucial for future creating future space station or Mars lander. Next, cosmonauts installed soft hand rails on Zarya module which should help future spacewalkers during moving between segments of Russian part of the ISS. Ultimate objective was reaching Restavratsiya device. It is part of experiment on various applications for special thermal protection foil covered with adhesive. Such adhesive foil could be very useful in repairing various parts of ISS or any spacecraft – especially parts damaged by space debris or micro asteroids, which is particularly important in case of large object like ISS. Both cosmonauts reach Pirs airlock after four hours forty five minutes EVA punctually at 17:40 GMT. They spent in space forty five minutes less than it was planned, but all objectives were achieved.