Saturday, January 16, 2021

Watch: Russian Cosmonaut’s ‘Breathtaking’ First Spacewalk Outside International Space Station

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Kud- Sverchkov has shared a “breathtaking” video from his first spacewalk. He is currently working at the International Space Station.

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The four-minute clip shows Sverchkov working with Expedition Commander Sergei Ryzhikov to dismantle the ‘Pirs’ (Pier) module.

The 6 hours and 47 minutes long spacewalk had taken place on November 18. Sharing the video on his social media account, Sverchkov had written: “It’s breathtaking, isn’t it?”

Roscosmos, Russia’s state-owned space agency, said both the cosmonauts worked in space for the first time. Sverchkov said that moving along the handrails of the outer surface of the Russian segment of the International Space Station was like climbing a mountain. He compared working in the dark to cave-diving, because “nothing is visible except for the equipment and what the spotlights illuminate.”

He said most of the activity was similar to the training he had undergone at the Yuri Gagarin complex in Moscow’s Star City.

As part of the Roscosmos project to replace one of the ISS modules with an upgrade, the cosmonauts switched the Transit-B antenna from the Pirs module to the body of the Poisk module of the ISS Russian segment, the Russian space agency said.

The ISS is made up of 16 pressurized modules. It has nine US modules, two Japanese, one European and four Russian modules. The Russian modules are Pirs, Zvezda, Poisk, and Rassvet.

According to the space agency’s website, Pirs module has exhausted its resources and it will be replaced by a new one, ‘Nauka’ (Science). The cosmonauts also replaced a tablet on the ‘Zvezda’ (Star) module.

The preparations for the launch and docking of Nauka are underway at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and International Space Station as well. As per the Space Agency, the 48th planned spacewalk under the Russian program will be devoted to preparations for undocking the Pirs module, and the arrival of Nauka.

The US space agency NASA said Pirs provided an airlock for cosmonaut spacewalks and served as a docking port for transport and cargo vehicles to the space station. Also known as DC-1, the Russian Module can transport fuel between the Zvezda or Zarya modules and dock vehicles such as Soyuz or Progress spacecraft.

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