Extreme cleaning! Russian cosmonauts shine ISS windows in a six-hour spacewalk 250 miles above the Earth: It’s an unwelcome task that sees many of us balancing precariously on chairs and ladders.
But window cleaning is far more extreme in space. During a six-hour spacewalk, a pair of Russian cosmonauts cleaned the windows of the International Space Station (ISS) while floating 250 miles (400 km) above the Earth's surface.
Station commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineer Mikhail Kornienko closed the hatch on the station's Pirs module at 20.51 BST yesterday. The window cleaning task was completed during a spacewalk that lasted almost six hours, in which they also carried out maintenance tasks and installed new equipment.
|It took six hours and a newly-invented cleaning tool for two Russian cosmonauts to clean the windows of the International Space Station–including a porthole window encrusted with years of dirt left by exhaust fumes from visiting ships.|
‘They developed a (cleaning) tool kit with two swabs with handles on them. The swabs are kind of a type of terry cloth,' spacewalk specialist Devan Bolch explained before the walk. ‘It's kind of similar to what you would use on your car headlights, when they get hazy, to clean them.’
The success of the mission will boost spirits in Russia, whose once-pioneering space industry has suffered a string of accidents which have tarnished its reputation. A Proton-M carrier rocket burnt up over Siberia minutes after launch in May, just weeks after technical faults forced Russia to abandon a $51 million (£33 million) ISS supply mission.
The expedition is the fourth ISS spacewalk this year and the 10th for Padalka, who has spent more time in space than any other person. It is Kornienko's second venture outside the station - a $100 billion (£64 billion) research laboratory owned and operated by a partnership of 15 nations.