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RUSSIAN SPACEWALK AT ISS, Dec 11, 2018, Earth orbit, ~11:00 am ET (NASA TV begins 10:00 am ET)

Two Russian cosmonauts, Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev, will conduct a 6-hour spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS) on December 11, 2018.  Their task is to inspect the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, which is docked to the ISS.

In August, a hole was discovered in the spacecraft’s orbital module, which clearly had been drilled, not caused by a meteorite or space debris.  Russian space officials resist what many consider the obvious explanation that it was done during manufacturing and patched before launch, but the patch came out causing a small leak in the ISS atmosphere, which the ISS crew repaired.  Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin has implied it was sabotage.  He wants the cosmonauts to look at it from the outside to see what they can determine about its origin.

This section of the Soyuz module is not designed to survive reentry, so any investigation must take place now, before it takes the Soyuz MS-09 crew back to Earth. They will depart ISS on December 19 and land in Kazakhstan at 12:03 am ET on December 20.  Soyuz consists of three compartments.  Only the crew compartment returns to Earth.  The orbital module detaches during reentry and burns up. Hence, the hole should not affect the crew’s safety.

The spacewalk is scheduled to begin about 11:00 am ET and will be covered on NASA TV beginning at 10:00 am ET.


December 11, 2018
10:00 am - 11:00 pm