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Russian cosmonauts complete spacewalk

RIA Novosti

05:11 17/02/2011 KOROLEV, February 17 (RIA Novosti) - Two Russian cosmonauts on board the International Space Station completed a spacewalk one hour earlier than expected, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the mission control center.

The cosmonauts wore Russian-made Orlan-MK spacesuits during their spacewalk on Wednesday, which lasted slightly less than five hours instead of six.

Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka, both 41, conducted their first spacewalk on January 21.

During the spacewalk, the cosmonauts installed equipment for two experiments outside the Zvezda service module: Molniya-Gamma, to observe gamma splashes and optical radiation during thunderstorms on the Earth, and Radiometria, to gather data for seismic forecasts and earthquake predictions.

Kondratyev and Skripochka also retrieved two Komplast panels from the exterior of the Zarya module. The panels contain materials exposed to space, and are part of a series of international experiments to find the best materials for constructing long-duration spacecrafts.

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