Cosmonauts on spacewalk ready new Russian docking port for future space station arrivals

Home News Human Spaceflights Russia's new multi-port docking module at the International Space Station is now ready to receive its first spacecraft after two cosmonauts completed a seven-hour spacewalk.Anton Shkaplerov, commander of the space station's Expedition 66 crew, and Pyotr Dubrov, both of Roscosmos, exited the orbiting outpost on Wednesday (Jan. 19) to run cables…

Russia’s new multi-port docking module on the Worldwide Situation Role is now able to receive its first spacecraft after two cosmonauts finished a seven-hour spacewalk.

Anton Shkaplerov, commander of the gap save’s Expedition 66 crew, and Pyotr Dubrov, every of Roscosmos, exited the orbiting outpost on Wednesday (Jan. 19) to bustle cables to and configure the new Prichal module to be frail by future Soyuz crew spacecraft and Growth cargo autos. The spacewalk started at 7: 17 a.m. EST (1217 GMT) as the two cosmonauts opened the hatch of the Poisk mini-overview module on the gap-facing aspect of the save’s Russian section.

As soon as exterior, Shkaplerov and Dubrov deployed the Strela telescoping increase, a 46-foot-prolonged (14 meters) operated by hand crane, which they every frail to traverse Poisk and the multi-reason laboratory module Nauka to succeed of their worksite beside Prichal. The new module, which provides five open docking ports, changed into launched to the Worldwide Situation Role and hooked up to Nauka in November.

Video: Sight cosmonauts spacewalk exterior Situation Role’s Nauka module

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Cosmonaut photos demonstrate space save from rare perspective

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov (in foreground with red striped spcesuit) and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos work outside Russia's Prichal multi-port docking module during a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov (in foreground with crimson striped spcesuit) and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos work exterior Russia’s Prichal multi-port docking module staunch by means of a spacewalk exterior of the Worldwide Situation Role on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Image credit: NASA/Value Vande Hei)

Shkaplerov and Dubrov worked rather shut to schedule as they finished the tasks to worth energy, communications and route info to and from Prichal and the comfort of the gap save. The two cosmonauts uncovered and tied down handrails to back future spacewalks, linked cables and save in antennas for the “Kurs” automated docking system, to boot to repositioned a TV camera to worth coverage of the actions exterior the new module.

“Don’t agonize the effort till the effort troubles you,” knowledgeable a flight controller in Mission Relief an eye fixed on Moscow after the spacewalkers encountered a fast snag attempting to install tether guards on the new handrails. 

After a fast pause, the tether guard changed into successfully secured.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov (in foreground with red striped spacesuit) and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos work outside Russia's Prichal multi-port docking module during a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov (in foreground with crimson striped spacesuit) and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos work exterior Russia’s Prichal multi-port docking module staunch by means of a spacewalk exterior of the Worldwide Situation Role on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Image credit: NASA/Value Vande Hei)

Shkaplerov and Dubrov also save in docking targets to be frail by spacecraft drawing advance Prichal. Soyuz MS-21, scheduled for launch in mid-March, is expected to be first to dock with the new module, bringing with it three Russian cosmonauts to be a half of the save’s Expedition 67 crew. 

At instances staunch by means of the spacewalk, Shkaplerov and Dubrov jettisoned thermal covers, containers and antennas that they a ways from Prichal or were no longer wanted. The spent hardware changed into pitched overboard reverse the direction that the gap save changed into traveling to befriend a ways flung from their being reencountered in orbit. The covers and antennas will indirectly tumble aid to Earth and dissipate upon coming into the atmosphere.

The spacewalk ended at 2: 28 p.m. EST (1928 GMT) after 7 hours, 11 minutes.

Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (at left) jettisons a container (floating away at lower right) after installing the docking targets it once held for Russia's Prichal multi-port docking module. Shkaplerov and Pytor Dubrov readied Prichal for future visiting spacecraft during a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.

Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (at left) jettisons a container (floating away at decrease staunch) after inserting in the docking targets it as soon as held for Russia’s Prichal multi-port docking module. Shkaplerov and Pytor Dubrov readied Prichal for future visiting spacecraft staunch by means of a spacewalk exterior of the Worldwide Situation Role on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Image credit: NASA TV)

Wednesday’s spacewalk changed into the third in Shkaplerov’s career and fourth for Dubrov. Shkaplerov has now logged 21 hours and 39 minutes working in the vacuum of space. Dubrov’s total is now 29 hours, 49 minutes.

This changed into the indispensable extravehicular boom (EVA) on the Worldwide Situation Role in 2022 and the 246th for Worldwide Situation Role assembly, maintenance and upgrades since construction started in 1998.

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Robert Z. Pearlman

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of collectSPACE.com, an on-line publication and neighborhood dedicated to space historical past with a selected heart of attention on how and where space exploration intersects with pop custom. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for Situation.com and co-creator of “Situation Stations: The Artwork, Science, and Truth of Working in Situation” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed on-line teach for the National Situation Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped build the gap tourism company Situation Adventures and currently serves on the Historic past Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Technology and management board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he changed into inducted into the U.S. Situation Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he changed into honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight Historic past.