The two veteran cosmonauts collected experimental data on material and biological samples in space.
On Wednesday two Russian cosmonauts conducted their experiments outside the International Space Station. The cosmonauts floated outside the ISS to replace experimental equipment.
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The equipment is testing how materials and biological samples fare in the harsh environment of space. The two veterans are engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov.
They left the ISS 7:55 a.m. EST for what was expected to be a 5-1/2-hour spacewalk. The spacewalk has been recorded live broadcast on NASA Television.
After leaving airlock the first tasks was to cast off a flash drive into space. The gesture was a way of giving a ceremonial send-off to recorded messages and videos.
The gesture also symbolises the 70th anniversary of Victory Day, said NASA mission commentator Rob Navias. On Victory Day the former Soviet Union was victorious over Nazi Germany. The thrown flash drive will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.
The engineer Malenchenko was making his sixth spacewalk, while Volkov was on his fourth. The engineers collected samples from outside the airlock’s hatch door and from a window.
The swab samples will be analyzed once returned to earth. The samples will determine the amount of residue from the ISS steering thrusters has built up on the surfaces. The engineers are currently working 250 miles above Earth.
The engineers then went to their seven-year-old science experiment. The experiment is holding plant seeds, bacterial spores fungi and other samples.
Samples were removed and replaced by Malenchenko and Volkov. The experiment will determine how biological samples and various materials will endure in space. For example the extreme temperatures and high radiation of space.
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Watch Russian Cosmonauts Taking Experimental Spacewalk Outside the International Space Station.