A spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) by a Russian cosmonaut had to be aborted early after his spacesuit battery ran out.
Expedition 67 commander Oleg Artemyev and flight engineer Denis Matveev, both of Roscosmos, were ordered by Russian flight controllers to end the spacewalk yesterday after the problem arose product.
Despite the premature end, cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev still managed to complete the installation of two cameras on the European robotic arm during the spacewalk. Soon after, his spacesuit began showing abnormal battery readings.
The arm is attached to the Russian Nauka research module and will be used to remotely move equipment outside the station.
It was about two hours into a six-hour spacewalk when voltage levels in his spacesuit’s battery began to drop unexpectedly.
Mission Control-Moscow asked him to return to the Poisk airlock to connect to the space station’s power supply.
Cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov then placed the European robotic arm in a safe configuration from inside the station.
Nasa said the space walker was never “in danger during the operation”. It was the 252nd spacewalk in the station’s history.
While Russia has played a key role in the history of the ISS since its inception, the country announced in July that it would withdraw from the project after 2024 following rising tensions with Europe and the United States. United in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine.
Following China’s lead, the country plans to build its own orbital outpost once its ISS commitments are fulfilled.
The announcement cast doubt on the future of the 24-year-old space station, with experts saying it would be extremely difficult, even a “nightmare”, to keep the station in orbit without Russian involvement.
But former Nasa astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 consecutive days aboard the ISS in 2015 and 2016, cast doubt on Russia’s statement.
“I think Russia will stay as long as they can afford because without the ISS they don’t have a human spaceflight program,” he said, adding that the design of the station makes it difficult but not impossible for other countries to exploit it if Russia pulls out. .
Earlier this year, Nasa announced a planned date of January 2031 to deorbit the ISS and direct all remnants to a remote area of the South Pacific Ocean.
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