Skip to main content

Watch 2 Russian cosmonauts spacewalk outside the International Space Station today

Two Russian cosmonauts will take a spacewalk outside the International Space Station today (April 18) and you'll be able to watch it live online.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev, both of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, will spend seven hours working outside the International Space Station in their bulky Orlan spacesuits. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 10:25 a.m. EDT (1425 GMT), with NASA's live webcast starting at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT). 

The spacewalk is the first of two excursions by the cosmonauts to activate systems on the station's recently arrived Russian-built Nauka science module. 

Related: In pictures: The most memorable spacewalks in history

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov (left) and Pyotr Dubrov (right) work to outfit the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module during a spacewalk on Jan. 19, 2022. Two more cosmonauts will take a spacewalk today to continue that work. (Image credit: NASA)

"During the first spacewalk, the cosmonauts will install and connect a control panel for the European robotic arm, a 37-foot-long manipulator system mounted to the recently arrived Nauka multipurpose laboratory module," NASA officials said in a statement (opens in new tab). "They will also remove protective covers from the arm and install handrails on Nauka. The arm will be used to move spacewalkers and payloads around the Russian segment of the station."

The second spacewalk, scheduled for April 28, will feature the removal of protective thermal blankets on Nauka that were used during its launch in July 2021 but are no longer needed. The cosmonauts will also perform additional work on the new robotic arm. 

The two spacewalks by Artemyev and Matveev are likely just the beginning for the full activation of the Nauka module's systems. According to NASA, more spacewalks will be needed to fully set up the robotic arm and activate a new airlock on Nauka for  future excursions. 

Today's spacewalk comes amid a busy week on the International Space Station, which is home to 11 people, four of which are private astronauts with SpaceX's Ax-1 mission for Axiom Space. Three cosmonauts, three NASA astronauts and a European Space Agency astronaut make up the station's professional Expedition 67 crew.

On Tuesday (April 19), the four Ax-1 astronauts will undock their SpaceX Dragon capsule from the station for a planned splashdown off the Florida coast a day later. The return to Earth will end a 12-day mission for mission commander Michael López-Alegría (a former NASA astronaut) and paying passengers Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy. It's the first all-private mission to the space station. 

Then on Saturday (April 23), SpaceX will launch the professional Crew-4 astronaut crew to space station. That crew includes three NASA astronauts and one European Space Agency astronaut. Its arrival will set the stage for the station's Crew-3 astronauts to return to Earth later this month.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook and Instagram.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter.