Russian Spacewalkers Wish Happy Birthday to First Spacewalker Alexey Leonov
Shortly after beginning their spacewalk, Expedition 59 Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos recorded birthday greetings for the first person to spacewalk, Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov. Leonov’s 85th birthday is tomorrow, Thursday, May 30.
On 18 March, 1965, Leonov became the first person to leave a spacecraft in a spacesuit to conduct a spacewalk, exiting the capsule during the Voskhod 2 mission for a 12-minute spacewalk.
Kononenko and Ovchinin also added signs to the backs of their Orlon spacesuits to honor the first spacewalker. Kononenko’s suit with the red stripes bears a sign that says “1st spacewalker”, and the sign on Ovchinin’s suit with the blue stripes says, “Happy birthday, Alexei Arkhipovich,” Leonov’s family name.
Two Cosmonauts Spacewalking Outside Station’s Russian Segment
Expedition 59 Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos began a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk when they opened the hatch of the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station at 11:42 a.m. EDT.
Both spacewalkers are wearing Russian Orlan spacesuits. Kononenko is designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), wearing the suit with red stripes, and Ovchinin is EV2, in the suit with blue stripes.
Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Views from a camera on Kononenko’s helmet are designated with the number 18, and Ovchinin’s is labeled with the number 11.
It is Kononenko’s fifth career spacewalk and Ovchinin’s first.
NASA TV Broadcasting Live Russian Spacewalk for Station Maintenance
Expedition 59 Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are preparing for their exit from the station’s Pirs docking compartment airlock at approximately 11:44 a.m. EDT to begin a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk at the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Christina Koch is helping the cosmonauts prepare for their spacewalk.
Coverage of the spacewalk is now underway on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Kononenko and Ovchinin will install handrails on the Russian segment of the complex, retrieve science experiments from the Poisk module’s hull, and conduct maintenance work on the orbiting laboratory.
Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.
Written By: Mark Garcia NASA
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