Russian cosmonauts make spacewalk at International Space Station

Cosmonaut Dmitri Petelin’s helmet camera captures a view of fellow spacewalker Sergey Prokopyev anchored to the end of a European robot arm attached to the Russian Nauka multi-purpose lab module. Image: NASA TV.

A cosmonaut took a test ride on the end of a European robot arm during a six-hour 35-minute spacewalk outside the International Space Station Wednesday amid work to install three micrometeoroid debris shields and relocate a work platform.

Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin installed the debris shields over two areas on the Russian Rassvet module where an experiment airlock and radiator panel had been mounted for several years. Both were moved to the Nauka multi-purpose lab module during spacewalks earlier this year.

After the debris shields were in place, a portable work station was attached to the end of the European Robotic Arm. Prokopyev then climbed aboard to test the arm’s stability while Andrey Fedyaev operated the robotic appendage from a control panel inside Nauka. There were no apparent problems.

After jettisoning no-longer-needed antenna covers and launch restraints that had held the work platform in place, the cosmonauts returned to Poisk to close out the 267th spacewalk devoted to ISS assembly and maintenance, the 10th so far this year.

It was the sixth excursion for Petelin and the eighth for Prokopyev, moving him up to eleventh on the list of most experienced spacewalkers with a total of 55 hours and 15 minutes working outside the ISS. Total ISS spacewalk time across 267 outings now stands at 70 days 16 hours and 26 minutes.