Cosmonauts carry out five-hour space walk; carry out maintenance work on ISS

Cosmonauts carry out five-hour space walk; carry out maintenance work on ISS
Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko gets ready to close the hatch to the Pirs airlock ending the spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

International Space Station (ISS) crew members Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko of ROSCOSMOS carried out a planned space walk to carry out maintenance work on the spacecraft.

The duo, both part of the Expedition 44 team, carried out a range of activities while on their five and a half hour space walk. The duo installed gap spanners on the hull of the station to help “facilitate the movement of crew members on future spacewalks”; cleaned the residue off of the windows of the Zvezda Service Module; installed fasteners on communications antennas; replaced an aging antenna used for the rendezvous and docking of visiting vehicles at Russian docking ports; and took pictures of locations and hardware on Zvezda and nearby modules.

The cosmonauts also retrieved an experiment designed to measure the space environment first deployed in 2013 brought inside for its return to Earth.

Padalka was designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) and Kornienko extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2). Both the cosmonauts wore Russian Orlan spacesuits bearing blue stripes with their suits equipped with NASA helmet cameras to provide close-up views of the work they are performing outside the station.

This is the 188th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

Once they were done with the spacewalk and were out of their spacesuits, they got a taste of space-grown red romaine lettuce for the first ever time. NASA is maturing Veggie technology aboard the station to provide future pioneers with a sustainable food supplement — a critical part of NASA’s journey to Mars. This is the first time a station-grown crop has officially been on the menu for station crew members. The remaining lettuce will be frozen on the station until it can be returned to Earth for scientific analysis.