Russian cosmonauts Oleg Nowicki and Piotr Dubrow stepped outside the new MLM-U Science module for the first time to do the first integration work with the rest of the complex. During the 7-hour march, power lines were connected to the new element.

The Russian space march, called VKD-49, took place on September 3, 2021. This is the second of 11 planned exits required to connect the all-new module to the rest of the International Space Station.

lonliness MLM-U Science, after many years of delay, was finally put into orbit in July 2021. Docked at the port terminal in the Zwiezda unit. before he arrives The same pair of astronauts have already done a spacewalk once, during which time the station has been prepared to separate the dock unitIt just happened for the sake of science.

The march of the VKD-49 officially began to break out of the lock in the Poisk unit at 4:41 pm Poland time. The main task of the walk was to connect two Ethernet power and data lines to the MLM-U Science unit of the American part. Two sets of cables have already been prepared for this purpose in the Poisk unit and have been awaiting science since 2013.

The astronauts took with them the necessary wires from the Poisk module and moved down (in the direction of the isotope) to the MLM-U Science module. New cable clips have been installed in the stroller unit. Later, the stations were also installed next to the science unit itself. Upon completion of this work, the astronauts can route the cables through the newly installed components.

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About 2.5 hours after the walk started, all eight sockets were connected to two plates in the unit. Then the cosmonauts had to move to the area of ​​the Zarya unit, where it was necessary to terminate the connection of cables on the other side. In the meantime, the ground crew checked whether the communications were working.

The main mission of this flight took the astronauts longer than expected. Therefore, lower priority tasks such as assembling an external Biorisk beta suite, completing an Ethernet connection, or getting new hands on a future-walk Science unit have been deferred to the following exits.

Eventually, the astronauts tried to clamp one of the knobs and scrape the no longer necessary roll of Ethernet cable from the Poisk unit. However, there was not enough time to complete these tasks and ground control ordered the crew to go back inside.

The astronauts closed the hatch on the Poisk module at 0:35 Polish time, thus officially ending the march. The flight took a total of 7 hours and 54 minutes. This was the 12th spacewalk to be conducted in the world in 2021 (10 of which have been conducted on the International Space Station, 2 on the Chinese space station). Nowicki and Dubrow stepped out in walking suits for the second time in their careers.

Written by: Rafai Grabinsky

Based on: Russianspaceweb / Roskosmos / NASA

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Pictured: astronauts Dubrow and Nowicki during the VKD-49 rally. Source: Roscosmos.