MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov have begun this year’s first spacewalk from the International Space Station (ISS), a spokesman for the mission control center told TASS on Friday.
"The hatches of the Pirs service module opened at 18:35 Moscow time and the cosmonauts began a spacewalk. Their extravehicular activity will last for about seven hours," the spokesman said.
Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos said earlier that the cosmonauts were tasked to dismantle the old module to mount new receivers onto the Zvezda module’s antenna to make it possible to get in touch with Earth via Russian Luch system satellites. Currently, the Russian segment of the ISS is using NASA’s retransmission system when the ISS is out of direct visibility from Russia’s territory.
Shkaplerov told TASS earlier that the Zvezda module didn't have to be changed under the initial plan. He said that the spacewalk was going to be an uneasy task as the cosmonauts, dressed in spacesuits, were to untighten dozens of bolts. More to it, in his, words, no one had ever worked at that place. He said that three types of instruments had been developed especially for this mission.
Alexander Misurkin is wearing a newly developed Orlan-MKS computerized spacesuit equipped with an automated temperature control system and a new pressurization layer. Anton Shkaplerov is wearing a spacesuit of the previous modification, Orlan-MS. It is Misukrin’s fourth spacewalk and the second one for Shkaplerov.