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Russian cosmonauts begin first spacewalk in 2024

Oleg Kononenko and Nikolay Chub are expected to spend 6 hours and 52 minutes outside the orbital outpost

MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko (TASS special correspondent on the ISS) and Nikolay Chub have opened the exit hatch of the Poisk module of the International Space Station (ISS), according to a streamed video of this year’s first extravehicular activity (EVA).

During the spacewalk, Russian ISS crew members will install hardware for the Kvartz-M and Perspektiva-KM research experiments outside the Poisk module and complete the deployment of a radar on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module (MLM), which could not be fully installed during the previous EVA in October.

If the astronauts have time, they will remove the Biorisk-MSN science equipment container from the Poisk module, deploy the pressure and deposition control unit on the same module, and take wipe samples from the surface of the Nauka MLM as part of the Test experiment. The cosmonauts are expected to spend 6 hours and 52 minutes outside the orbital outpost.

This EVA is a seventh in the career of Kononenko, who is wearing Orlan-MKS spacesuit No. 5 with red stripes, and a second for Chub, who will be wearing Orlan-MKS spacesuit No. 4 with blue stripes, as well as the first during the 70th prolonged expedition to the ISS. Before the spacewalk, the cosmonauts prepared the spacesuits - they replaced disposable elements, checked the operation of all systems and changed the protective glass of the space helmets.

The previous spacewalk under the Russian program took place on October 26. Kononenko and Chub disconnected the external circuit of the Nauka module’s radiator, which earlier developed a leak, and also inspected the spot of the leak itself. The cosmonauts also installed a small-sized radar on the Nauka MLM module to monitor the Earth's surface, but it failed to deploy automatically. Chub tried to set the radar’s panels into position manually, but after several unsuccessful attempts Mission Control told the cosmonauts to finish the spacewalk.