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Russian cosmonauts get ready to use ERA manipulator during next summer’s spacewalk

The ERA manipulator will be employed for relocating a radiator from the Rassvet module to the Nauka module

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. Russian cosmonauts have for the first time ever practiced an operation simulating the transfer of a radiator from one module of the ISS (Rassvet) to another module (Nauka) with the European Robotic Arm (ERA) manipulator, the Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center told the media on Thursday. The operation is to be conducted during extravehicular activity next year.

The Gagarin Center said that for the first time in its history cosmonauts, at different locations, were handling a single task, with part of the crew staying in a very special environment - under water.

"The tests will last for three weeks," the press-service said.

"The main crew of the ISS-67 expedition was the first to have coped with a new procedure of handling a common task, namely the relocation of a radiator. Cosmonauts Oleg Artemiev and Denis Matveyev were doing the job under water in the hydrolaboratory, and Sergey Korsakov, at the controls of the Don-ERA simulator. The crew’s actions were coordinated by specialists from the different departments of the training center," the Gagarin Center said.

Instructor Valery Nesmeyanov, of the center’s extreme training unit, said the cosmonauts coped with their task quite well.

"The crew confirmed the effectiveness of joint training and a very high quality of modeling a situation that may occur in real life. The experiment was a success. All specialists, including those from the space rocket corporation Energia, obtained unique knowledge crucial to making preparations for a real spacewalk," the Gagarin Center’s press-service quotes Nesmeyanov as saying.

The ERA manipulator will be employed for relocating a radiator from the Rassvet module to the Nauka module during the 67th ISS expedition next summer. The radiator’s function is to ease the impact of excessive heat on the Nauka module during science experiments. Two cosmonauts will be relocating the radiator in outer space, and a third crew member, operating the robotic arm.