Two Cosmonauts Wrap Up the Fourth Spacewalk at the Station This Year

Spacewalkers Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin
Spacewalkers Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin work outside the Pirs docking compartment during the fourth spacewalk of the year at the International Space Station.

Expedition 59 Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos have completed a spacewalk lasting 6 hours and 1 minute.

The two cosmonauts opened the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment to begin the spacewalk at 11:42 a.m. EDT. They re-entered the airlock and closed the hatch at 5:43 p.m.

During the spacewalk, the duo completed the planned tasks, including installing a handrail on the Russian segment of the complex, retrieving science experiments from the Poisk module’s hull; removing and jettisoning the plasma wave experiment hardware; and conducting maintenance work on the orbiting laboratory, such as cleaning the window of the Poisk hatch.

The spacewalk was the 217th in support of station assembly, maintenance and upgrades and the fourth outside the station this year.

This was the fifth spacewalk in Kononenko’s career and the first for Ovchinin, who will become station commander next month. Kononenko is scheduled to return to Earth June 24, with crewmates Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, wrapping up a six-and-a-half-month mission living and working in space.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

5 thoughts on “Two Cosmonauts Wrap Up the Fourth Spacewalk at the Station This Year”

  1. When they jettison “stuff” it eventually reenters or do they jettison out into space? Just wondering where this goes.

  2. I just wondered, as you said they jettisoned some hardware, where did that hardware end up, and know if it is just going to become space junk.

    If it was just jettisoned in space, I would just like to know if NASA was consulted in the decision, or if it’s just a Roscosmos thing.

    I just wondered because NASA had made different statements (witch I agree to) about space junk released by India, and I’m pretty sure NASA wouldn’t want to contradict itself.

    1. The hardware is jettisoned behind the space station and towards Earth. It will burn up in the atmosphere in a few days. NASA is always consulted by its International Partners for space station activities that occur inside and outside the orbital laboratory.

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