Spacewalking cosmonauts install animal-tracking experiment outside ISS

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Prokopyev will also collect science

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

Roscosmos Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev perform a spacewalk outside the space station on Aug. 15, 2018.

Two Russian astronauts will conduct a six-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station Wednesday to toss mini satellites outside the orbiting laboratory and install an envrionmental experiment designed to track animals on Earth.

Roscosmos Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev are scheduled to suit up and leave through the Pirs airlock at 11:58 a.m. EDT.

During their time in the vacuum of space, Prokopyev and Artemyev will toss four tiny technology satellites into space, install equiptment for a German-Russian animal-tracking experiment and retrieve science experiments outside the iSS, according to NASA.

The animal-tracking experiment, called Icarus, is a collaboration between the German Aerospace Center and Roscosmos to study the migratory patterns of small animals on Earth. The cosmonauts will install the antenna and GPS hardware Wednesday during their spacewalk that will track movements of animals that have been tagged with GPS receivers.

According to NASA, the experiment may provide data about animal migration patterns, how animal population density changes and how diseases spread.

Before Wednesday's spacewalk, the cosmonauts prepared their Orlan spacesuits, adding new U.S. lights and video cameras to the suits.

The next spacewalk is planned for the end of September, when NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold join European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst outside the International Space Station to replace batteries.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev (left) and Sergey Prokopyev will conduct a six-hour, 10-minute spacewalk on Aug. 15, 2018. (Photo: NASA)

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