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Space Station
NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, left, and Scott Tingle work outside the International Space Station on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, to give the robot arm a new hand. (NASA TV via AP)

Russian astronauts take spacewalk to upgrade station antenna at the International Space Station


Russian astronauts are taking a spacewalk to upgrade an antenna at the International Space Station.

Commander Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov floated outside Friday. Their job is to replace an old electronics box for the main antenna on the Russian side of the space station.

Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin has three previous spacewalks from 2013 for 20 hours, 1 minute. Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov has one previous spacewalk from 2012 for 6 hours, 15 minutes.

Original to the 250-mile-high outpost, these parts have been up there since 2000. The new electronics box will improve the communications with Moscow Mission Control.

It’s the second spacewalk in as many weeks. On Jan. 23, two U.S. astronauts went out to give a new hand to the station’s big robotic arm. NASA had planned another spacewalk this week, but bumped it to mid-February because engineers needed extra time to get the mechanical hand working.

According to NASA, this is the the 207th spacewalk at the station for maintenance.

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