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Two Russian astronauts to conduct spacewalk

RIA Novosti

04:57 15/11/2010 MOSCOW, November 15 (RIA Novosti) - Two Russian astronauts, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Skripochka will conduct a spacewalk on Monday, a spokesman for Russia's mission control center said.

The spacewalk, scheduled to begin at 17:30, would last for at least five hours and 55 minutes. It would be the fifth spacewalk for 51-year-old Yurchikhin and first for Skripochka.

The Russian astronauts would wear Orlan-MK spacesuits during the spacewalk.

During their spacewalk, Yurchikhin and Skripochka are to collect samples from the exterior of the Zvezda service module and the Pirs airlock. They would also install a multipurpose workstation on the starboard side of Zvezda's large-diameter section.

Among other objectives is the removal of a robotics experiment known as Kontur, aimed at developing an internet-controlled robotic manipulator.

The mechanism, taken to the International Space Station in 2003, was initially used for experiments conducted by the German space agency DLR. The Russian stage of the experiment began in May 2008.

During the next stage of Russia's Kontur experiment to begin next year, astronauts would check whether robotic manipulators on the Earth could be controlled from the orbital station.

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