Russian cosmonauts finish over 7.5-hour spacewalk
MOSCOW, Oct 26 (NNN-TASS) — Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolay Chub have closed the exit hatch of the Poisk module of the International Space Station (ISS) and finished first spacewalk of Expedition 70, according to the broadcast on the Russian space corporation’s website.
The cosmonauts embarked on the spacewalk at 8:49 p.m. Moscow time. Their extravehicular activities lasted for seven hours and 41 minutes.
During the spacewalk, the cosmonauts disconnected the hydraulic circuits of the radiator heat exchanger which sprang the leak on Oct 9. They also inspected and photographed the coolant leak location, which will help specialists on the Earth to identify what caused the leak.
Apart from that, the cosmonauts released the Parus nanosatellite, which was made by students of Bauman Moscow State Technical University to test a solar sail technology. The nanosatellite was released at 2:20 a.m. Moscow time. A solar sail was to unfold five minutes after the release but it did not.
The cosmonauts also installed the radar on the multipurpose laboratory module Nauka to monitor the Earth’s surface, but failed to unfold it automatically. Chub tried to place the radar’s panels in the right position manually but after several botched attempts, a specialist at the mission control center told the cosmonauts to wind up and return to the International Space Station (ISS).
According to a spokesman for the Houston-based mission control center, cosmonauts will try to resolve this problem during their next spacewalk. The radar, in his words, is not impairing the space station’s operation. It will not be an obstacle for a spacewalk under the US program scheduled for Monday either, he added.
This was Kononenko’s sixth spacewalk and the first one for Chub.