Russian spacewalkers complete inspection of the spaceship that will bring three astronauts home on December 19, 2018.
Expedition 57 Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos completed a spacewalk lasting 7 hours and 45 minutes.
The two cosmonauts opened the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment to begin the spacewalk at 10:59 a.m. EST. They re-entered the airlock and closed the hatch at 6:44 p.m. EST.
During the spacewalk, the two examined the external hull of the Russian Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the space station, took images, and applied a thermal blanket. They also retrieved science experiments from the Rassvet module before heading back inside.
It was the 213th spacewalk in support of International Space Station assembly, maintenance and upgrades, the fourth for Kononenko, and the second for Prokopyev.
Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Alexander Gerst are scheduled to depart the station in the Soyuz MS-09 at 8:42 p.m. Dec. 19, returning home to Earth after a six-and-half-month mission.
Earlier in the day:
Expedition 57 Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos began a spacewalk when they opened the hatch of the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station at 10:59 a.m. EST.
Kononenko, on his fourth spacewalk today, is designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), and is wearing a spacesuit bearing red stripes. Prokopyev, on his second spacewalk, is wearing blue stripes and is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2).
Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Even earlier in the day:
Expedition 57 Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos are preparing to venture outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk at approximately 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 11. NASA Television coverage is now underway and available on the agency’s website.
Over the course of about six hours, the duo will use this spacewalk to examine a section of the external hull of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft currently docked to station, and if time permits, retrieve external experiments.
In late August, a pressure leak occurred from the space station that was traced to the Soyuz. Within hours after finding the source of the leak, crew members sealed the hole and the station has since maintained steady pressure.
The cosmonauts will take samples of any residue found on the hull and take digital images of the area before placing a new thermal blanket over it. The samples and images will provide additional information that will aid the investigation in the cause of the pressure leak.
Learn more about station activities by following @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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