Russian crewmembers return to ISS

Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Yury Malenchenko returned to the International Space Station (ISS) after a spacewalk, a spokesman for the Mission Control Center, located in the town of Korolyov outside Moscow, told Interfax-AVN.

"The cosmonauts closed the hatches. Their spacewalk continued for approximately six hours. Despite the delay, Padalka and Malenchenko, who are experienced crewmembers, managed to accomplish all of their tasks," he said.

During the spacewalk, they transferred the GStM-2 crane from the Pirs docking compartment to the Zarya module, launched the Sphere satellite and installed additional anti-meteorite panels on the surface of the Zvezda service module, the spokesman said. Padalka and Malenchenko also dismantled the Biorisk-MSN container and installed an outboard working station of the Pirs docking compartment.

The spacewalk was delayed slightly after it was discovered that the transfer compartment was not hermetically sealed.

It was Padalka's ninth spacewalk. His previous spacewalks lasted for 27 hours and 14 minutes. As far as Malenchenko is concerned, it was the fifth time he had worked outside the station. His previous spacewalks lasted for 24 hours and 16 minutes.

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