Spacewalkers complete tiring work at space station (Update)

Jun 19, 2014 by Marcia Dunn
Russian space station crew member Oleg Artemiev floats outside the International Space Station during a space walk by two Russians, Thursday, June 16, 2014, to install a new antenna and move a cargo boom. Alexander Skvortsov and Artemiev will also switch out some science experiments. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

A pair of spacewalking astronauts managed to install a new antenna and complete other work Thursday outside the International Space Station, despite stubborn equipment.

Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemiev spent more than seven hours outside, longer than expected, and put in an order for hot tea as the tiring work wrapped up.

The two struggled with balky clamps and latches on the antenna as the spacewalk got underway. Mission Control outside Moscow urged them to take frequent breaks, as they panted and sighed.

"Resting is most important," Mission Control radioed in Russian.

Two of the three locks clicked into place on the antenna. But the third would not work right, and the astronauts had to use a wire tie instead. Each spacewalker tugged on the tie to tighten it. With that finally complete, the two successfully made a series of connections, eliciting a "Hurrah!"

"Slowly but surely," one of the astronauts said.

The first-time spacewalkers also struggled to remove an old frame from the Russian side of the space station, once used to hold experiments. Stiff bolts slowed the men down.

"I would like to have a third arm," noted one of the spacewalkers as the work wrapped up.

Mission Control urged Skvortsov and Artemiev to hurry as they wiped down their suits before going back inside.

Russian space station crew member Oleg Artemiev floats outside the International Space Station during a space walk by two Russians, Thursday, June 16, 2014, to install a new antenna and move a cargo boom. Alexander Skvortsov and Artemiev will also switch out some science experiments. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

"I'm hungry and thirsty," one spacewalker radioed. They also said their hands were tired.

A plastic handle, part of a push rod, got away from them right before they closed the hatch.

The four astronauts inside monitored the action, while doing their own work.

"Pretty neat up here right now," U.S. astronaut Reid Wiseman said via Twitter. "Two Russian crew mates are spacewalking but business as usual for me and @astro_alex," he said, referring to German Alexander Gerst.

The crew includes three Russians, two Americans and the one German. The Americans are supposed to venture out on NASA-led spacewalks in August. Skvortsov and Artemiev also have another spacewalk scheduled for August.

Explore further: Russian, German and US astronauts dock with ISS

More information: NASA: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russian, German and US astronauts dock with ISS

May 29, 2014

A crew of Russian, German and US astronauts docked with the International Space Station Thursday as space cooperation between Moscow and the West continues despite their worst standoff since the Cold War.

Spacewalking astronauts move crane, skip shields

Feb 16, 2012

Two spacewalking astronauts moved a construction crane outside the International Space Station on Thursday, a cumbersome job that took so long they scrapped hanging shields to protect against space junk. ...

Recommended for you

ESA image: The gold standard

8 minutes ago

The Eutelsat-9B satellite with its EDRS-A payload is shown in the anechoic test chamber of Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, having completed its final antenna pattern tests today.

Frost-covered chaos on Mars

8 minutes ago

Thanks to a break in the dusty 'weather' over the giant Hellas Basin at the beginning of this year, ESA's Mars Express was able to look down into the seven kilometre-deep basin and onto the frosty surface ...

Rosetta's comet: In the shadow of the coma

7 hours ago

This NAVCAM mosaic comprises four individual images taken on 20 November from a distance of 30.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/C-G. The image resolution is 2.6 m/pixel, so each original 1024 x 1024 pixel ...

DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

Nov 26, 2014

The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere—and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.