Two astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station on Monday. No, nothing was wrong with the ISS. Today’s excursion was all about science.
Russian Oleg Artemiev let go of a 4-inch box in his right hand as the ISS soared hundreds of miles above our planet. The small box was a nanosatellite called Chasqui (named after the Inca messengers). The satellite weighs just 2 pounds, but contains instruments to measure temperature and pressure as well as take photos of our planet.
Several minutes after the tiny satellite cleared the ISS, it was on its own.
After releasing the miniature satellite, Artemiev and his colleague Alexander Skvortsov, went to work installing science experiments outside the Russian part of the space station and gathering old ones.
Today’s spacewalk is the second for the Russian duo. All total, there have been 181 spacewalks at the ISS for assembly or maintenance according to NASASpaceFlight.com.
When is the next U.S. space walk set? There were two scheduled this month, but they have been put on hold. NASA is waiting for fresh spacesuit batteries before resuming normal spacewalks. SpaceX is scheduled to deliver the batteries on a Dragon supply ship at some point next month.
Spacewalks were suspended over concerns about the fuses inside the batteries on board the ISS.
Image credit: NASA TV