Science

See how a Russian cosmonaut and the first European female cosmonaut work outside the International Space Station today.

Today (July 21) the first European female cosmonaut and a Russian cosmonaut will leave the International Space Station, and you can watch their actions in a vacuum online.

Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA) will join experienced spacewalker Oleg Artemiev, who will spend up to seven hours outside the International Space Station. The spacewalk is expected to begin around 10:00 AM EDT (14:00 GMT), according to the ESA.

You can watch live here on Space.com from the link above on NASA YouTube. (will open in a new tab) channel or directly on the NASA website (will open in a new tab). EVAs from the Russian side of the space station are usually conducted in Russian, but direct translation into English is usually provided.

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Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (left) was scheduled to embark on the first European spacewalk by a woman on July 21, 2022. On the right is fellow astronaut Alexander Gerst. (Image credit: ESA)

If the spacewalk goes ahead as planned, it will be the second time Cristoforetti has made history in recent months. She was also the first person to use TikTok on the ISS and has gained over half a million followers since her first post in May.

The ESA stated that a wide variety of activities are planned for the working session. (will open in a new tab). These include the installation of platforms and workstation adapters in the newest laboratory of the ISS Nauka, as well as the deployment of 10 nanosatellites for collecting electronic data.

According to the ESA, another long period of time will be spent preparing the European robotic arm for operation. The crew, they added, “will relocate the external control panel, work on the insulation, and set up a temporary adapter point for the robotic arm. [Cristoforetti] take some time to make sure the protective shield on the hand camera unit is transparent enough to allow the laser beam to guide the hand for gripping and moving.”

The arm is 37 feet (11.3 meters) long and is designed to be used by astronauts whether they are working inside or outside the orbital facility. One of its features is the ability to “walk” like an inchworm along the hull of the space station, like the 21-year-old Canadarm2 built by MDA for the Canadian Space Agency.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemiev of Roscosmos waves his hand to the camera during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on April 18, 2022. (Image credit: NASA)

Artemiev and Cristoforetti will both be wearing Russian-made Orlan spacesuits during today’s spacewalk: Artemiev in a spacesuit with red stripes, and Cristoforetti’s spacesuit will be with blue stripes.

Today’s spacewalk will be the third for Artemiev, who has so far added 14 hours and 19 minutes of work outside the ISS over two spacewalks in April, both of which were with Russian cosmonaut Denis Matveev.

Thursday’s spacewalk will be the sixth spacewalk on the ISS in 2022, and the 251st supporting its assembly and maintenance, based on past information.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or facebook (will open in a new tab).

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