AstroSamantha is preparing to become the first European astronaut to go out among the stars, in a spacewalk that at 16.00 Italian on 21 July will face wearing the Russian suit and in the company of his colleague Oleg Artemyev, of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. “Once again Samantha is a forerunner”, astronaut Luca Parmitano tells ANSA who, like Samantha Cristoforetti, is part of the European Space Agency (ESA). “Thank you – he adds – for her role in showing everyone, women and men, what determination and commitment to achieving a goal are.”
When Cristoforetti and Artemyev leave the Space Station for an extra-vehicular activity (Eva) of over six hours, Parmitano will follow every moment of the operations from the NASA control center in Houston. “It’s a’non-vehicular activity planned around the Russian segment of the International Space Station “and which sees the participation of an ESA astronaut because one of the objectives is the completion of the procedure foractivation of the European Robotic Arm (Era) hooked to the mRussian odulus Nauka. “For this reason, Samantha Cristoforetti’s extra-vehicular activity was planned from the beginning with a Russian astronaut and the Russian Orlan suit. It is therefore – Parmitano observes – ajoint Russian and European activity“.
The suit Orlan it is the only spacewalking suit currently in use, after NASA and ESA had decided to suspend the use of American suits Emu (Extra-Vehicular Mobility Unit) waiting to know the outcome of the investigations into the causes of the water leak that took place last March 23 in the suit of European astronaut Matthias Maurer. An accident similar to the one that happened to Luca Parmitano in 2013. “The Orlan suit is different from the Emu because it has a higher level of pressurization; the Emu instead requires a longer preparation to avoid embolism but more comfortable in operations. In Parmitano the memory of that incident is still alive, as is the anniversary of his second mission, Beyond which started on 20 July 2019, in the 50th anniversary of the moon landing: “I don’t look to the past, I’m more projected towards the future”, he says the astronaut.
I’m three tasks that Cristoforetti and Artemyev will have to face in the spacewalk: completing the installation of the European robotic armcomplete operations in the clearinghouse of the Russian module Nauka (or Mlm, Multipurpose Laboratory Module), docked to the Space Station in July 2021 to serve both as a laboratory and as a docking point for shuttles, release into orbit of 10 nanosatellites.
“The preparation for a spacewalk is very long and for weeks Samantha and Oleg have been working together to fine-tune the final details of the procedures and choreography,” notes Parmitano. “Now – he adds – the fruits of preparation are reaped”. No advice from Luca Parmitano to my colleague Cristoforetti: “the advice is always linked to individual experiences and it is not certain that my experience will be useful to Samantha Cristoforetti. I am convinced that she does not need it: she is very professionally prepared and extremely capable, she will your business in the best possible way- To you the warmest good luck! “
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