Spacesuit power problem ends Russian spacewalk early; SpaceX cargo capsule undocks from ISS

Capsule splashdown expected at 2:53 p.m. Saturday

All things considered, it’s been an interesting week so far at the International Space Station.

NASA reported on Wednesday in a series of updates on its blog that two Russian cosmonauts ended a spacewalk more than two hours early due to a battery power issue with one of their spacesuits.

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Expedition 67 Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev performed the extravehicular activity (EVA) to work on the European Robotic Arm (ERA), which launched in 2021 and serves as Russia’s contemporary to the Canadian and Japanese robotic arms elsewhere on the ISS. Artemyev and Matveev were to install new cameras on the arm, relocate an external control panel for it, remove launch restraints near the arm’s “hands” and test its rigidity during a 6-and-a-half hour long excursion, NASA said.

A SpaceX Cargo Dragon capsule is set to undock from the International Space Station on Thursday afternoon, the day after a Russian cosmonaut's spacewalk ended early as his spacesuit began to have voltage fluctuations. NASA has said in multiple statements that the two cosmonauts spacewalking Wednesday were never in any danger.

The spacewalk was concluded after four hours and one minute, however. NASA reported Artemyev’s Orlan spacesuit began to show abnormal battery power readings about two hours and 17 minutes into the EVA, at which point he was commanded by Russian flight controllers to return to the Poisk airlock and connect to the station’s power supply.

Matveev stayed out a bit longer to complete some final clean-up activities before making it back to the airlock himself, NASA said. The cosmonauts were able to complete the installation of two cameras on the ERA before Artemyev’s spacesuit showed the abnormal readings.

NASA has said in multiple statements that Artemyev and Mateev were “never in any danger” as they wrapped up the EVA.

Meantime, on Thursday, a SpaceX Cargo Dragon capsule was set to undock and depart from the ISS. The undocking was delayed until Friday at 11:05 a.m. EDT due to weather conditions at the splashdown site off the Florida coast.

A SpaceX cargo dragon capsule departs from the International Space Station on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. (NASA TV)

Cargo Dragon undocked on schedule at 11:05 a.m. Friday and exited the Keep Out Sphere around 11:13 a.m., described by NASA as “an imaginary boundary extending 200 meters out from the station” and seen as a milestone in every undocking attempt. Following the successful procedure, the capsule headed for splashdown, expected at 2:53 p.m. EDT Saturday.

A SpaceX cargo dragon capsule departs from the International Space Station on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. (NASA TV)

The capsule arrived at the ISS July 16 and headed back to Earth laden with more than 4,000 pounds of supplies and science experiments.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.