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A Russian cosmonaut’s spacewalk was cut short by a few hours after problems with his spacesuit forced him to return to the International Space Station’s orbit several times. .
Astronaut Oleg Artemyev was never in danger, NASA officials said during a live broadcast. However, problems with the battery pack powering his spacesuit were enough for flight controllers to urgently order him back to the space station and connect his suit to ISS power. According to the Spacewalk commentary, battery problems caused “voltage fluctuations” in Artemiev’s spacesuit. Live broadcast.
Officers on the ground issued several warnings to Artemyev to return to the airport.
“Drop everything and start going back now” was the last message from the ground before Artemiev confirmed that he was going to the flight lock. Moments later, he re-enters the space station and manages to connect his suit to its power.
Cosmonaut Denis Matveev, who worked with Artemyev on the space mission, was outside the space station’s atmosphere for more than an hour until flight controllers decided to end the spacewalk early due to problems with Artemyev’s spacesuit.
A Russian translator told the livestream that Artemyev joked to flight controllers that he “felt better than when he started his spacewalk” after returning to the ISS.
The goal of the Mercury mission was for two astronauts, Artemiev and Matveev, to install new cameras. European robot armIt is mounted on the exterior of the space station in the Russian-controlled part of the ISS.
Spacewalks are regular events aboard the ISS, as cosmonauts and cosmonauts — the Russian word for cosmonaut — must regularly leave the space station for maintenance, scientific experiments and other tasks. More than 250 spacewalks have been conducted outside the orbiting lab since it entered service nearly two decades ago, and they usually go without a hitch.
This is Artemiev’s seventh spacewalk and Matveev’s third. Both wore Russian-made Orlan spacesuits. The ISS also houses the American-made EMU, or Extravehicular Mobility Unit, spacesuit for spacewalks.
Both types of suits are designed to be completely self-contained, providing the only barrier between astronauts and the deadly vacuum of space during a spacewalk. They contain communication equipment, ventilation and enough air for the astronauts to breathe for several hours.