Two Russian astronauts step outside space station

February 16, 2012 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov participates in a session of extravehicular activity (EVA) on the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) in 2011. Two Russian cosmonauts stepped out of the International Space Station on Thursday in a spacewalk due to last six hours, Russia's mission control centre said.

(AP) -- Two astronauts aboard the International Space Station are taking a spacewalk.

Russians Oleg Kononenko (Koh-no-NEHN-koh) and Anton Shkaplerov (SHKAP-luh-roff) floated out Thursday, after being held up at the hatch by a balky ring. They will relocate a construction crane on the Russian side of the space station. They also will install shielding on one of the station's oldest compartments to protect against small bits of space junk.

is a major threat to the space station. NASA's compartments were launched with armor already in place, while Russia's were not. Station construction wrapped up last year, with the close of the .

The station's four other residents - American, Russian and Dutch - monitored the spacewalk from inside.

Explore further: International Space Station crew takes spacewalk


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1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2012
Thank God all the cosmonauts and astronauts are non-smokers. Otherwise, outside the airlock is the only place they can light up without running afoul of non-smoking in the workplace regulations! :-)

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