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Scientific experiments to be priority in Russia spacewalk program next year

August 19, 2014, 14:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Next year we will have to perform many scientific tasks linked with equipment exposure, an official says

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MOSCOW, August 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s spacewalk program next year will focus on scientific tasks, flight control officer of the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) Vladimir Solovyov said on Tuesday.

“You see, almost all our spacewalks are linked not with repairs, but with fair science. The Americans make spacewalks to do repairs, and we - to launch a satellite or install new equipment. As far as I understand, next year we will have to perform [in terms of extravehicular activity] many scientific tasks linked with equipment exposure,” he said.

On Monday, Russian cosmonauts Aleksandr Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev during a spacewalk manually launched the NS-1 scientific satellite, installed the Expose-R scientific equipment on the Zvezda service module. While on the conical section of Zvezda, they attached a handrail clamp holder for the Automatic Phased Array antenna. Skvortsov and Artemyev set up that communication systems antenna during their first spacewalk on June 19, NASA said.

The cosmonauts also set up the Plume Impingement and Deposit Monitoring unit on the Poisk Mini Research Module-2. Skvortsov and Artemyev retrieved several science packages designed to expose a variety of materials to the harsh environment of space. While on Poisk, they removed one cassette and install another on a materials experiment known by its Russian acronym SKK. The spacewalkers also retrieved a panel of sample materials from the Vinoslivost payload. The retrieval of a Biorisk experiment container outside Pirs completed the science package roundup for the two cosmonauts. Biorisk studies the effects of microbes on spacecraft structures. Skvortsov and Artemyev also collected residue samples from a window on Zvezda.

The cosmonauts worked in space in the Orlan-MK spacesuits, designed and manufactured by the Moscow-region-based NPP Zvezda research and production enterprise.

NASA astronauts are planned to make a spacewalk in late September to repair systems of the ISS American segment.

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