First spacewalk for Samantha Cristoforetti, 21 July 2022

All Credits: ESA

On 21 July 2022, ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will head outside the International Space Station on a spacewalk alongside cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev. It will be Samantha’s first spacewalk, and the first conducted by a European woman.

Both astronauts will be wearing Orlan spacesuits, with Oleg wearing red stripes and Samantha wearing blue stripes. Sergei Korsakov will provide support to the spacewalkers before they exit the Space Station through the space-facing Poisk module.

Orlan spacesuits
Orlan spacesuits

The spacewalk, also called an Extravehicular Activity or EVA, will see Samantha and Oleg working together on a number of tasks, including installing platforms and workstation adapter hardware mounted on the Nauka laboratory module.

The spacewalking duo will deploy ten nanosatellites designed to collect radio electronics data during the EVA, and put in place a telescopic boom in place from Zarya to Poisk to assist in future spacewalks.

Working on European Robotic Arm

This will be the third spacewalk to include tasks around getting the European Robotic Arm ready for its first operations on Nauka. The astronauts will move its external control panel, work on insulation and install a temporary adapter point for the robotic arm.

Samantha will spend some time making sure a window shield on the arm’s camera unit is clear enough to allow a laser light to guide the arm for grappling and moving around.

Smart spacewalker
Smart spacewalker

Europe’s robotic arm brings new ways of operating automated machines to the orbital complex. It will be able to perform many tasks automatically or semi-automatically, can be directed either from inside or outside the Station, and it can be controlled directly or programmed in advance.

At ESA’s technical heart, ESTEC in the Netherlands, engineers will be following the spacewalk closely. A European team will be monitoring Samantha’s work on the robotic arm from its mission control.

Watch live

You can watch the spacewalk live via ESA Web TV. Coverage will begin at 15:30 CEST (14:30 BST) with the EVA itself scheduled to begin at 16:00 CEST (15:00 BST). The spacewalk may last up to seven hours.

Samantha is living and working aboard the Space Station on her second spaceflight mission, Minerva. Learn more about Samantha and the Minerva mission on the dedicated Minerva web page.

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