Russian cosmonauts to activate space station new robotic arm

TEHRAN, Apr. 19 (MNA) – Two Russian cosmonauts went on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Monday to activate a new robotic arm.

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev began their nearly seven-hour spacewalk at 11:01 a.m. ET and it ended at 5:37 p.m. ET, lasting for six hours and 37 minutes, CBS 58 reported.

It was the first of two spacewalks that Artemyev and Matveev are conducting to set up the mechanism outside the Russian Nauka multipurpose module.

During Monday's spacewalk, the duo installed and connected a control panel for the 37-foot-long (11.3-meter-long)robotic arm. The two also removed the arm's protective covers and installed handrails outside the Nauka module.

This robotic arm will be used to assist spacewalkers and transport any items that need to be moved outside the space station's Russian segment in the future.

Artemyev was identifiable in the Russian Orlan spacesuit bearing red stripes, while Matveev wore a spacesuit with blue stripes.

It was the first spacewalk for Matveev and a fourth for veteran spacewalker Artemyev.

It was the fourth spacewalk outside the space station this year and the 249th overallin support of assembling, maintaining and upgrading the orbiting laboratory.

During a second spacewalk, on April 28, the cosmonaut pair will remove thermal blankets used to protect the robotic arm when it was launched last year along with the Nauka module. Matveev and Artemyev will also flex the robotic arm's joints, release restraints and test its grappling ability.

RHM/PR

News Code 185874

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