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Russian cosmonauts lose equipment during spacewalk

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A Russian cosmonaut exits the Pirs docking compartment to begin the spacewalk. A NASA TV photo

WASHINGTON (BNS): Two Russian cosmonauts who departed the International Space Station early Tuesday morning to conduct a spacewalk have apparently lost some equipment.

Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Mikhail Kornienko, wearing Russian Orlan spacesuits, set out from the Pirs docking module of the orbital station at 0411 GMT on Tuesday.

Few minutes after their journey, two bright objects were seen floating away from the cosmonauts’ perch and going below the space station as shown in the NASA TV visuals. The objects are believed to be some equipment the cosmonauts were carrying to repair the new scientific module.

The duo embarked on the six-hour mission to outfit the Rassvet scientific module of the ISS. During the spacewalk, they will improve cable connections to the Zvezda and Zarya modules of the ISS.

A video camera will be removed and replaced from the aft end of Zvezda which will be used to provide television views of the final approach and docking of future European Automated Transfer Vehicles carrying cargo to the complex, NASA said.

This is the first spacewalk carried out by the Expedition 24 team. A second spacewalk is scheduled for August 5 by two US astronauts, the space agency said.

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