Cape Canaveral, Fla. – Two Russian astronauts from the International Space Station set out on a spacewalk on Wednesday to prepare for next year’s arrival of a long-delayed laboratory.
Commander Sergei Reznikov and Sergei Kud-Severchkov – by Sergey 1 and Sergey 2 by flight controllers – left four Americans and one Japanese inside. SpaceX’s population increased to seven on Monday late evening with the arrival of the SpaceX capsule, making it the company’s second astronaut flight.
Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov, on their first spacewalk, spent about two hours doing additional leak checks before exiting an air lock. The compartment has been on the space station since 2009 but was first used by spacewalkers.
“Congratulations. You are out,” Russian mission control is radioactive from near Moscow.
Russia’s old spacewalking compartment will be removed and next year the research lab Nauka – Russian will be junked to make room for this science. “A number of Russian-guided spacewalks will be needed to deal with all this. The plan calls for the old PIR module to attach a cargo ship to direct it to raging rage.
The new 22-ton laboratory – 43 feet long – is so large that it will be launched by a powerful proton rocket from Kazakhstan. Once at the orbiting outpost, it will double as an air lock and docking port.
The start of the science lab – a delay of nearly a decade due to a long string of repairs – is targeted sometime early next year.
Ryaznikov and Kud-Severchkov arrived with an American on a Soyuz capsule last month. Like the newly arrived SpaceX crew, Russian-launched astronauts will remain on board until spring.