Two Russian cosmonauts took a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) in order to prepare the orbiting outpost for the arrival of a new Russian laboratory later this year. The spacewalk that was held on June 24, lasted six hours and 35 minutes.
Greek-Russian cosmonaut Fyodor (Theodore) Nikolayevich Yurchikhin (his mother’s name was Grammatikopoulos) and Russian Alexandr Misurkin opened the external gate of the space station at 5:31 p.m. (13:31 GMT) and began maintenance works, as announced by the Russian control center of the space mission.
The two cosmonauts did not manage to complete all the planned work, because some of them needed more time than was programmed, according to the control center.
For the Greek-Russian cosmonaut this has been his sixth spacewalk, while for Russian Misurkin, who arrived at ISS in March, his first. Before this spacewalk, Yurchikhin had logged 31 hours and 52 minutes of spacewalking time, according to NBC News.
The two cosmonauts are still at the ISS, as well as two American and one Italian astronaut.
Monday’s excursion marked the 169th spacewalk for maintenance and assembly performed on the $100 billion orbiting laboratory. The ISS was built by 15 countries represented by five space agencies, and construction began in 1998. It has been continuously staffed by rotating crews of astronauts since 2000, as reported in NBC News.
Yurchikhin is the first cosmonaut of Greek descent.