Marking the second spacewalk of 2018, the Russian cosmonauts created a new record while they changed an Antenna on International Space Station. Two Russian Cosmonauts spent 8 hours 13 minutes outside the ISS, making it the longest ever Russian Spacewalk. Previously, the record for the longest ever Russian spacewalk was set in 2013 which lasted for 8 hours and seven minutes.
On February 2, Friday, Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin and Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos set out for 2nd ISS Spacewalk at 10:34 am EST (9:04 pm IST). Spacewalks are done for ISS assembly and maintenance. The main aim of Friday’s spacewalk was to replace an electronics box for a high gain communications antenna. The spacewalk ended at 6:47 pm EST (5:17 am Saturday IST).
During the record-breaking spacewalk, the two cosmonauts removed the old electronic box and installed a new electronics and telemetry box on a communication antenna on the Zvezda service module. As per NASA scientists, the replacement was done to enhance communications between Russian flight controllers and the Russian probes.
The latest spacewalk marked the 207th spacewalk of International Space Station. Also, it was the fourth spacewalk for cosmonaut Misurkin and second for Shkaplerov. Although the Russian cosmonauts successfully replaced the electron box for the communication, not everything went smoothly. Just when the maintenance was about to complete, the Russian cosmonauts discovered that the antenna on the box wasn’t extending or moving, after being folded up for the repair work. After several minutes of hard work, along with the help of flight controllers, the cosmonauts finally got the antenna moving.
Again there was a problem with the antenna positioning as the antenna was in a position 180 degrees farther than anticipated. But by the time it was known, the spacewalk was already finished. NASA mission control reported that the antenna was in good shape and was still working. Apart from that everything went as planned and Russian cosmonauts created history by breaking the previous record of the longest Russian spacewalk. Recently, Russian space Company Energia was in the headlines when it informed that it is planning to send tourists to space by 2019. Vladimir Solntsev, the president of Energia, a partly state-owned space company, said that Russia is discussing the possibility of sending tourists on spacewalks. He informed that the market analysts have confirmed that wealthy people are ready to pay money for space travel