Russian cosmonauts in open space prepared the European robotic arm for work

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemiev and Denis Matveev made a spacewalk the day before, during which they prepared the ERA (European Robotic Arm) robotic arm for work, and also opened the cargo boom between the Zarya and Poisk modules.

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The duration of the spacewalk was 7 hours 47 minutes. The first task was to prepare the ERA remote manipulator for operation. The cosmonauts installed a platform with adapters on the outer part of the Nauka module, transferred the external EMMI control panel to the BTL-3 base flight point and connected it. They also installed two soft handrails, adjusted the TRM drives on the KE-1 and KE-2 end effectors of the manipulator, and removed the starting ring from the KE-1 – the MCC did not allow it to be “thrown” into outer space so as not to create potential interference with the launch American rocket. Probably meant SLS, which could start today. On the KE-1 effector, we replaced the frame with protective glasses for the CLU-1 video camera, and also tested the ERA control from the EMMI remote control.

During initial testing, the manipulator carried a training load the size of a small suitcase, but when the device begins full operation, it will be able to handle a payload weighing about 9 tons. Full-scale tests are scheduled for mid-September to help evaluate brake performance, joint mobility, images from cameras installed on ERA.

While performing their tasks, Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev took short breaks in their work, during one of which Artemyev drew attention to forest fires raging on Earth – at that time the ISS was flying over the West Coast of America. The cosmonauts coped with the priority tasks ahead of schedule, so they completed an additional one – they opened the GstM-2 cargo boom from the Zarya functional cargo block to the Poisk module. At the same time, Artemyev joked that it looked like spinning.

In carrying out the task, the cosmonauts performed the 64th Russian spacewalk as part of the ISS program, and in 2022 it was already the sixth. Oleg Artemyev has already done this eight times, and his total experience in outer space has reached 53 hours and 31 minutes. Denis Matveev was in outer space for the fourth time, his total experience is now 26 hours 8 minutes. In total, since March 1965, Soviet and then Russian cosmonauts, a total of 72 people, made 160 exits. The penultimate one in mid-August was not very successful – the battery voltage in the Orlan-ISS spacesuit dropped, which forced the task to be interrupted – the exit lasted 4 hours 1 minute instead of the planned 6 hours 44 minutes.

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