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STORY COMPOSED FOR CBS NEWS & USED WITH PERMISSION
Two Russian cosmonauts used the International Space Station’s Poisk docking compartment as an airlock for the first time Wednesday in a six-hour 48- minute spacewalk to begin preparing the almost identical Pirs module for removal next year. A new lab module will be parked in its location later.
Expedition 64 commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov started the year’s 8th spacewalk at 10: 12 a.m. EST. The adventure, the first for both cosmonauts, came simply two days after arrival of four astronauts aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon commercial ferryboat ship.
Poisk was launched nearly precisely 11 years back, on Nov. 10, 2009, and connected to the Zvezda module’s upper port two days later. It has actually been used as a docking port for unpiloted Progress cargo providers and Soyuz team ferry ships often times however never ever as an airlock.
Before venturing outdoors, the cosmonauts spent more than an hour making certain Poisk’s never-before-used side hatch might be safely opened and tightly shut with an airtight seal which the hatch leading into the main body of the station was leakage complimentary when the compartment was at or near vacuum.
Wearing their Orlan spacesuits, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov partly depressurized Poisk for a preliminary round of leak checks. NASA crewmate Kate Rubins performed similar tests from inside the Russian sector of the station and the pressure on both sides was rock solid.
The cosmonauts then took Poisk to vacuum, opened the side spacewalk hatch for the first time and examined its seals for any indications of foreign item debris or damage. Extra sealing product was readily available if required, however the inspection discovered no indications of any problem.
They then closed the hatch and ran extra leakage checks prior to re-opening it and floating outside simply after 11 a.m. to start the 232 nd spacewalk committed to station assembly and upkeep.
The first product on the program is to install a brand-new fluid-flow regulator to help flow liquids in the Russian Zarya module, the station’s very first module, launched 20 years ago Nov. 20.
The cosmonauts then recovered a materials science space direct exposure pallet from the Pirs module and detached a telemetry cable television connecting Pirs to the Zvezda module. The cable was reconnected to Poisk, starting the process of ending making use of Pirs as an airlock.
The spacewalkers repositioned a rocket plume impingement detector and obtained an experiment tray that assists engineers examine micrometeoroid impacts prior to returning to Poisk and closing the hatch a final time at 5 p.m. Spacewalk period was six hours and 48 minutes, pressing total station spacewalk time to 1,458 hours and 51 minutes.
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