Cosmonauts set spacewalk record
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – In a record-long spacewalk, Russian cosmonauts rigged cable outside the International Space Station on Friday for a new lab that’s due to arrive in a few months.
Fyodor Yurchikhin and Aleksandr Misurkin spent almost the entire seven-hour-plus spacewalk routing 120 feet of power and Ethernet cable. The cable had to be unreeled, then meticulously secured to handrails and hooks.
“Today we are the cable people,” one of the spacewalkers commented in Russian as the work drew to a close.
The spacewalk lasted seven hours and 29 minutes, a full hour longer than originally planned, for the two to get a jump on work awaiting them in another outing next Thursday.
It was the longest spacewalk ever by a pair of Russians, surpassing the former record of seven hours and 16 minutes set at the old Mir space station in 1990.
Americans hold the overall record: a nearly nine-hour spacewalk in 2001.
Friday’s spacewalk occurred exactly one month after an Italian astronaut almost drowned when leaking water flooded his helmet during a spacewalk.
Luca Parmitano’s spacesuit was provided by NASA. Friday’s spacewalkers wore Russian-made suits that differ from the U.S. version.
NASA is still investigating last month’s close call.
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