MOSCOW (AFP) – Two Russian cosmonauts on board the International Space Station made a new space walk to finish off work begun during an earlier operation last week, the Russian space centre said.
ISS commander Sergei Volkov and flight engineer Oleg Kononenko remained outside the space station for six hours, the Interfax news agency cited space officials as saying.
The spacewalk, second for both Volkov and Kononenko, had the two cosmonauts install targeting equipment for the station’s future docking with a Russian research module, as well as hardware for a new geophysical experiment among other tasks.
The two cosmonauts on Friday completed a successful space walk of just over six hours to retrieve an explosive bolt believed to be the cause of the Soyuz spacecraft‘s dangerously high-speed descent and landing on two recent missions.
Russian space officials believe that the pyro bolts, which help separate the Soyuz from its docking position ahead of its trip back to Earth, were failing to operate correctly.
These failures, they suspect, caused the Soyuz to enter the atmosphere at an incorrect angle on October 21, 2007, and April 19 this year.