The first European female spacewalker and a Russian cosmonaut will go outside the International Space Station today (July 21), and you can watch their activities in a vacuum online.
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Samantha Cristoforetti will join experienced spacewalker Oleg Artemyev for up to seven hours outside the International Space Station. The spacewalk is expected to begin around 10 am EDT (1400 GMT), according to ESA.
You can watch live here at Space.com in the link above, on NASA’s YouTube (opens in new tab) channel or directly at NASA’s website (opens in new tab). Spacewalks from the Russian side of the space station are typically conducted in Russian, but live interpretation to English is usually provided.
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If the spacewalk goes forward as planned, this will be the second time Cristoforetti makes history in recent months. She was also the first person to use TikTok on the ISS and has increased more than half a million followers since her first post in May.
There is a diverse set of scheduled activities to tackle for the work session, ESA stated (opens in new tab). These include installing platforms and workstation adapter hardware to the newest ISS laboratory, Nauka, along with deploying 10 nanosatellites to gather radio electronics data.
Another large chunk of time will be used readying the European Robotic Arm for operational use, ESA said. The crew, they added, “will move its external control panel, work on insulation and install a temporary adapter point for the robotic arm. [Cristoforetti] will spend some time making sure a window shield on the arm’s camera unit is clear enough to allow a laser light to guide the arm for grappling and moving around.”
The arm is 37 feet (11.3 meters) long and is designed to be used by cosmonauts whether they are working inside or outside the orbiting complex. One of its features is the ability to “walk” like an inchworm, end-over-end, along the hull of the space station, much like the 21-year-old Canadarm2 built by MDA on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency.
Artemyev and Cristoforetti will both wear Russian-built Orlan spacesuits during their spacewalk today, with Artemyev in a suit with red stripes while Cristoforetti’s suit will bear blue stripes.
Today’s spacewalk will be the third for Artemyev, who has so far increased 14 hours and 19 minutes of work outside the ISS across two spacewalks in April that were both performed with Russian cosmonaut Denis Matveev.
Thursday’s spacewalk will be the sixth EVA at the ISS in 2022 and the 251st supporting its assembly and maintenance, based on past information.