Russian cosmonauts attempt spacewalk again aborted due to frightening power supply glitch

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveyev will step out of the International Space Station (ISS) again on September 2 after their spacewalk was halted due to a recent accident, TASS News reported. Scheduled for August 17, the cosmonauts aborted the mission just two hours into the planned six-hour spacewalk after Artemyev’s spacesuit suffered power supply problems.

According to NASA, which broadcast the spacewalk live, Artemyev’s Orlan spacesuit showed abnormal readings in space. As soon as the problem was reported, mission control in Moscow, Russia instructed him to return to the Poisk module of the ISS and connect to the space station’s power supply.

None of the cosmonauts were in danger: NASA

NASA, however, revealed that none of the cosmonauts faced any danger during the operations. “Cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov, inside the station, places the European robotic arm in a safe configuration, and Matveev has just entered the Poisk airlock,” said the agency reporting the incident. “The duo was never in danger during the operations”.

Meanwhile, the next spacewalk would be the eighth of Artemyev’s career while Matveyev will perform his fourth spacewalk, also known as extra-vehicular activity (EVA).

The two cosmonauts had left their module for the installation of two cameras on the European robotic arm (ERA) located on the Russian side of the space station. On top of that, removing the launch retainer rings to lighten the ERA manipulator was also one of the goals.

The ERA is a contribution of the European Space Agency (ESA) and serves several purposes, such as transporting payloads in and out of the ISS, installing, removing or replacing payloads from experiment, inspecting the exterior of the station using his camera, and transporting crew members. from one site to another.

Notably, it was the same ERA that was at the center of controversy after the retired director general of Roscosmos (Russian space agency), Dmitry Rogozin, ordered to stop using the robotic arm. This order was issued in the aftermath of the Ukraine-Russia war which severely damaged Roscosmos’ relations with ESA. As a result, Europe severed ties with Roscosmos on the ExoMars mission, which was scheduled to launch in September, as well as several missions to the Moon.

Alan A. Seibert