ISS, April 29. /TASS/. Russian cosmonauts at the International Space Station (ISS) have unfolded in the open space a replica of the Victory Banner, according to the live broadcast streamed on the official website of Russian space agency Roscosmos.
The banner was unfolded on the on the external side of Russia’s Nauka multi-purpose laboratory module by cosmonauts Denis Matveyev and Oleg Artemyev, who is also a TASS special reporter aboard the ISS, ahead of the Victory Day celebrations.
Roscosmos spokesman Dmitry Strugovets said the idea to unfold a replica of the Victory Banner in the open space belongs to Artemyev.
"Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev voiced an idea several days ago to spread the Victory Banner in the open space and wrote about it to the Roscosmos press office," Strugovets said on his Telegram channel. "His initiative was supported at all levels. No one remained indifferent."
The Victory Banner was the flag raised by the Soviet Red Army soldiers on the Reichstag building in Berlin on May 1, 1945. It was raised by Soviet soldiers Alexey Berest, Mikhail Yegorov and Melitin Kantariya and is considered to be the official symbol of the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in the World War II. The original banner is on a display at the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow.
On Thursday night, Artemyev and Matveyev embarked on their second spacewalk in their current space mission to prepare the ERA robotic arm for operation.
The Russian cosmonauts’ extravehicular activity is expected to last up to seven hours. Artemyev, who is conducting the fifth spacewalk in his career as a cosmonaut, works in Orlan-ISS spacesuit No. 5 with red stripes, while Matveyev is conducting extravehicular activity for the second time, wearing the spacesuit with blue stripes.
Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov is providing his teammates support from inside the orbital outpost, operating the ERA (European Robotic Arm) manipulator.
Overall, during the current space mission of cosmonauts Artemeyev, Matveyev and Korsakov, seven spacewalks are planned. Cosmonaut Artemyev will conduct one of the spacewalks with Italy’s Samantha Cristoforetti and the rest with Matveyev. While no extravehicular activity is planned for Korsakov, he is ready for this work. He was also trained to operate the ERA manipulator.
On November 17, 2021, Russia’s world-renowned TASS news agency and the State Space Corporation Roscosmos signed a memorandum of cooperation, under which a TASS news office was established aboard the ISS. Presently, cosmonaut Artemyev is heading the outer space-based branch. Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin was the first TASS special reporter in space. His flight lasted 12 days.