On July 21st, at 4:58 PM, AstroSamantha took part to an extravehicular activity (EVA) along with the Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, commander of the Expedition 67, a mission which is currently ongoing on the International Space Station. The event was followed and commented in real time, from the headquarters of the Italian Space Agency, by Gabriele Mascetti, head of the Human Spaceflight office at the ASI, Barbara Negri, head of the Human Flights and Scientific Experimentation unit, and Paolo D’Angelo, space journalist who works for the Institutional Communication office.
Samantha, at the first EVA in her career, was the first European woman to conduct an activity in the open Space, wearing an Orlan - Russian space suit. The extravehicular activity ended at 11:56 PM, after 7 hours and 5 minutes from the start. Moscow control centre decided to stop the EVA earlier than expected due to safety reasons, related to the autonomy of the batteries which supply power to the support systems of the two astronauts’ space suits.
Samantha and Oleg worked, among other things, on the ERA (European Robotic Arm) program, the first robot which is capable of “walking” around the Russian segment of the International Space Station. Light and powerful, over 11 meters long, the robotic arm can anchor to a few fixed points of the Station and move back and forth on its own. It will serve as the main manipulator arm in the Russian part of the Space Station. Its seven joints can manage several tons of useful loads, with a wide range of movements for the assembly activities. The two astronauts released ten nanosatellites, designed to collect radio electronic data.
Cristoforetti has been in orbit for the European mission Minerva since last April 27th, and is at her second mission after the FUTURA mission, which took place between 2014 and 2015, when she set the record for the longest continuous stay in orbit for a woman, with a total of 199 days and 16 hours in a row in space. The crew of the Crew-4, aboard the Space Station, is part of the Expedition 67 and will remain in orbit until the end of September.
EVA replay - 1st part
EVA replay - 2nd part