Russian Cosmonauts  New Robotic Arm

Activate Space Station’s

Two Russian cosmonauts went

on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Monday to activate a new robotic arm.

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev

 and Denis Matveev began their nearly seven-hour spacewalk at 11:01 a.m. ET and it ended at 5:37 p.m. ET, lasting for six hours and 37 minutes.

It was the first of two 

spacewalks that Artemyev and Matveev are conducting to set up the mechanism outside the Russian Nauka multipurpose module.

During Monday’s spacewalk, the duo 

installed and connected a control panel for the 37-foot-long robotic arm. The two also removed the arm’s protective covers and installed handrails outside the Nauka module.

This robotic arm will be

 used to assist spacewalkers and transport any items that need to be moved outside the space station’s Russian segment in the future.

It was the fourth spacewalk

 outside the space station this year and the 249th overall in support of assembling, maintaining and upgrading the orbiting laboratory.

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