Russian cosmonauts complete 6-hr spacewalk, unfurl Russian flag

Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 00:02

Zee Media Bureau/Ritu Singh

Cape Canavarel: Two Russian cosmonauts, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Aleksandr Misurkin ventured outside the International Space Station (ISS) for almost six hours on Thursday morning and undertook spacewalking again for the second time in that week.

Despite encountering a malfunction in the equipment, the astronauts were able to successfully install a new telescope mount on the orbiting lab’s Zveda module. During the six-hour spacewalk, Yurchikhin and Misurkin also installed gap spanners to help spacewalkers move from one of the station’s modules to another and inspected antenna covers. Using a test kit, Misurkin collected a sample from under a piece of thermal insulation on the Poisk Mini-Research Module. In addition, he snapped photos of a materials exposure experiment and associated cabling along the Poisk.

According to Russia’s Mission Control Center, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin took samples of bacteria presence on the surface of the ISS that could be detrimental to the outpost’s hermetic hull and therefore installed the necessary new equipment.

After completing their mission, the spacewalkers returned safely to the ISS. According to the spacewalkers, it wasn’t easy working in that location. “Tight quarters up here as far as anything to grab onto,” one of the cosmonauts observed. “You got that right,” the other replied.

In a triumphant mood, the cosmonauts unfolded a Russian flag in outer space to celebrate Russian Flag Day before entering the airlock. They raised the Russian flag in space to mark their country’s flag day, celebrated annually on August 22.

“Today is a holiday, Russian Flag Day. We congratulate all Russians. We must love and respect our flag and then others will respect us”, Yurchikhin said.

First Published: Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 12:09

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