Watch a European astronaut and Russian cosmonaut embark on a spacewalk

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Immediately, two astronauts might be conducting a reasonably commonplace spacewalk on the surface of the Worldwide Area Station, however the pair of spacewalkers is a bit uncommon. The duo consists of cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of Russia’s Roscosmos and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Area Company, spacefarers from two international locations that don’t usually conduct spacewalks collectively.

The timing of the spacewalk comes amid strained relations between Russia and the European Union over the previous’s determination to invade Ukraine. The invasion hasn’t had a big impression on operations on the ISS, as NASA, the European Area Company, and Roscosmos have continued to work collectively — in house and on Earth — to maintain the house station working.

Cristoforetti and Artemyev have a jam-packed spacewalk in the present day. They’re tasked with putting in platforms and adapter {hardware} on the surface of the brand new Russian Nauka module, which launched to the house station final yr (and had a dramatic debut). The objective is to assist get the Nauka module’s European Robotic Arm up and working, which might be used to seize maintain of apparatus and different gadgets that must be moved on the surface of the ISS.

On high of putting in gear, Cristoforetti and Artemyev can even transfer the exterior management panel for the robotic arm and tinker with its insulation. Cristoforetti can even change a window on the digital camera mounted on the arm to ensure it’s clear sufficient for laser mild to shine by means of. They’ll even be deploying 10 nanosatellites “designed to gather radio electronics knowledge in the course of the spacewalk,” based on NASA. They’ll even be extending a telescopic growth on the surface of the station that might be used to assist with future spacewalks.

Immediately’s spacewalk will make some small historical past, too. Cristoforetti and Artemyev will each be carrying Russian spacesuits, however Cristoforetti could be recognized by a set of blue stripes on her go well with, whereas Artemyev can have a set of crimson stripes. That is simply the fourth time a European will conduct a spacewalk in a Russian spacesuit, NASA says. It’s additionally the primary spacewalk for Cristoforetti, and she is going to turn out to be the primary European lady to conduct a spacewalk in the present day, according to the ESA.

The pair have been slated to get began on their work round 10AM ET. NASA plans to stream protection of the six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk in the present day, giving viewers an opportunity to observe this unlikely duo in motion.

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