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Two Russian cosmonauts took a spacewalk outside the International Space Station for a total duration of seven hours and 19 minutes. It is for the preparation for the arrival of a new Russian module.

NASA broadcast lives the spacewalk of the two cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov. The two of them arrived at the space station in April this year.

Their spacewalk focused on the preparation of the ISS for undocking and removal of the Pirs docking bay that is expected to be replaced by the new multipurpose Nauka Science laboratory module next month.

 Cosmonauts Prepare For the Arrival of Russian Module in the ISS After A Seven-Hour Spacewalk
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Maxim Suraev (out of frame), both Expedition 22 flight engineers, participate in a session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as maintenance and construction continue on the International Space Station. During the spacewalk, Kotov and Suraev prepared the Mini-Research Module 2 (MRM2), known as Poisk, for future Russian vehicle dockings. Suraev and NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams, commander, will be the first to use the new docking port when they relocate their Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft from the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module on Jan. 21. Earth's horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the scene.

Two Cosmonauts Conduct Spacewalk Outside ISS

Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Novitskiy and Dubrov are from the Russian space agency Roscosmos. On June 2, at 1:53 AM EDT (0553 GMT), they opened the hatch of the Poisk airlock, marking the beginning of the seven-hour spacewalk.

First Post reported that the cosmonauts also replaced the fluid flow regulator and two sets of biological and material science samples on the Russian modules' exterior aside from decommissioning the Pirs docking compartment.

"Congratulations, you are outside at last," Novitskiy said to Dubrov, who joined him outside the space station, according to Space.com. Neither Novitsky nor Dubrov has been outside the ISS before.

Russian cosmonauts Novitskiy and Dubrov currently team up at the space station with NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough, and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and astronaut Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency.

The Russian space agency said that the Nauka module would finally be launched in July after it was continuously pushed back over some technical issues.

ALSO READ: A Walk to Remember: NASA Astronauts Conduct Spacewalk to Replace Lithium Ion Batteries as Part of Power Upgrades in ISS


Second Spacewalk Will Happen Soon to Install the Module

The two cosmonauts also worked on relocating the telescoping boom from Pirs back to the Poisk module; wherein Dubrov hitched a ride on the 46-foot Strela boom while Novitsky reeled it like a fish in a giant fishing pole.

Novitsky told Dubrov that he felt like a worker on a ship, manning the oars. In which Dubrov asked him if his task was difficult. Novitsky then replied that it was not a challenging task, but it did take a long time to complete.

Space.com reported that the two cosmonauts are expected to conduct a second spacewalk when the Nauka module arrives next month. They will install the module, although Roscosmos has not yet announced the exact date.

Before that, there will be two other spacewalks scheduled by NASA astronaut Kimbrough and ESA astronaut Pesquet on June 16 and 20, respectively. They will be continuing the ongoing work to install new solar arrays outside of the space station when supplies arrive this week via the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft resupply mission.

Then on June 27, the ISS will also be sending off a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo freighter to safely deorbit. It will be followed by the Russian Progress 78 cargo resupply mission, which will arrive on June 30.

RELATED ARTICLE: NASA Astronauts Prepare For Two Upcoming Spacewalks This Year

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