Cosmonauts finish spacewalk to ready station for new module

Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos have completed a spacewalk lasting seven hours and 19 minutes.

The two cosmonauts opened the hatch to the Poisk docking compartment airlock to begin the spacewalk at 1:53 a.m., EDT, June 2. They re-entered the airlock and closed the hatch at 9:12 a.m.

During the spacewalk, the duo disconnected the external mechanical links between Pirs and the space station, relocated spacewalk hardware including a telescoping crane, and reconfigured antennas to prepare the Pirs module for undocking and disposal. Additionally, the cosmonauts replaced a fluid flow regulator panel on the nearby Zarya module, jettisoned the old panel as planned, and replaced biological and material science samples on the exterior of the Russian modules.

Pirs will be replaced by the new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module, named “Nauka,” which is Russian for “science.” The undocking of Pirs is scheduled for this summer, about two days after Nauka launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

This was the first spacewalk for both cosmonauts and the 238th spacewalk overall in support of International Space Station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades. It also marks the sixth spacewalk of 2021.

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