Spacewalking astronauts prep for 2021 arrival of Russian lab

Pablo Tucker
November 19, 2020

Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov wear their Orlan spacesuits and partially depressurise Poisk for a first round of leak tests.

The astronauts will then take Boise to the vacuum, opening the side space package for the first time in block history and inspecting its seals for signs of foreign object debris or damage.

Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will be preparing the outside of the space station's Russian segment to receive a new module.

Are you anxious about the two astronauts telling each other?

For identification, Ryzykov will wear a call sign EV-1, a space suit with red stripes and a helmet using Camera 20, while Kud-Sverchkov, EV-2 will use a blue stripe and a helmetcam 18 suit.

Ryzhikov EV1 and Kud-Sverchkov will be designated EV2 - which is less confusing than it was when they were referred to as "Sergey 1" and "Sergey 2" during a press conference aboard the space station in October.

Live spacewalk coverage, which begins at 9:30 a.m. ET, will be broadcast on the NASA website.

The space walk is estimated to take about six hours.

Twocosmonauts, both from the Russian space agency Roscosmos, will conduct a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station on Wednesday.

Decommissioning Pirs, which has an airlock and docking ports for cargo and crew vessels, will make way for the long-awaited Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module, named Nauka - Russian for science.

The first item on the agenda is the installation of a new pump to circulate fluids in the first block of the station, the Russian Zaria block, which was launched on November 20, 20 years ago. Birs will be fired, unopened and removed in the future.

"We welcome any and all modules, especially if there is room for them", Rubins said in October.

The space station population grew to seven late on Monday with the arrival of a SpaceX capsule, making the company's second astronaut flight.

Zero Gravity Indicators, usually cute toys, let the crew know when they reach space after launch.

Yuri, a young astronaut coordinator Olga, wife of Kudd Svereshkov, accompanied them during their October launch.

The American astronauts were on board Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and the Japanese space agency Jaxan Soichi Noguchi.

NASA's Commercial Crew program could expand the number of astronauts on the space station - which means more science, and even new types of experiments, can happen in the unique microgravity environment.

All seven groups held a reception on Tuesday.

Then they closed the hatch and performed additional leak checks before reopening it and floated outside at 11 am straight to begin Spacewalk No. 232 assigned to station assembly and maintenance, the eighth EVA station so far this year.

This is a historic moment for the space station. The space community recently marked the 20th anniversary of people living aboard the orbiting space platform.

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