Russian cosmonauts Maxim Suraev and Alexander Samokutyaev step outside the International Space Station to perform work on the exterior of the station's Russian module. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (No reporter narration) Two Russian cosmonauts floated outside the International Space Station on Wednesday (October 22) for a six-hour spacewalk to replace science experiments and jettison two unneeded antennas. Station commander Maxim Suraev and flight engineer Alexander Samokutyaev left the station's Pirs airlock at 9:28 a.m. EDT/1328 GMT as the complex sailed 260 miles (418 km) above the planet. The cosmonauts quickly completed the first task on their to-do list: removing and jettisoning a defunct science experiment known as Radiometriya. The device, which was installed in 2011, was used to track seismic activity on Earth, NASA mission commentator Rob Navias during a live broadcast of the spacewalk on NASA TV. Suraev and Samokutyaev then moved on to remove a protective cover from a European science experiment that exposes organic and biological samples to the harsh environment of space. The cosmonauts, both of whom were making their second spacewalks, also plan to remove and discard two obsolete antennas from the Poisk mini-research module and make a detailed photographic and video survey of the Russian part of the station. The spacewalk is the third in three weeks and the seventh and last outing planned for this year. NASA next year plans up to 10 spacewalks to reconfigure the station for the arrival of commercial space taxis which are expected to begin flying crews to the outpost in 2017. The station is a $100 billion research laboratory owned and operated by a partnership of 15 nations.