Watch a Russian cosmonaut and 1st European female spacewalker work outside the International Space Station today

Update: The spacewalk concluded at 5:55 p.m. EDT (2155 GMT) and the duo spent 7 hours, 5 minutes working outside the International Space Station, according to NASA Television. The work had been forecasted to last seven hours. Watch for our wrap-up story on Space.com.

The first European female spacewalker and a Russian cosmonaut will go outside the International Space Station today (July 21), and you can watch their activities in a vacuum online.

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Samantha Cristoforetti will join experienced spacewalker Oleg Artemyev for up to seven hours outside the International Space Station. The spacewalk is expected to begin around 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), according to ESA. 

You can watch live here at Space.com in the link above, on NASA's YouTube (opens in new tab) channel or directly at NASA's website (opens in new tab). Spacewalks from the Russian side of the space station are typically conducted in Russian, but live interpretation to English is usually provided.

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If the spacewalk goes forward as planned, this will be the second time Cristoforetti makes history in recent months. She was also the first person to use TikTok on the ISS and has accrued more than half a million followers since her first post in May.

There is a diverse set of scheduled activities to tackle for the work session, ESA stated (opens in new tab). These include installing platforms and workstation adapter hardware to the newest ISS laboratory, Nauka, along with deploying 10 nanosatellites to gather radio electronics data.

Another large chunk of time will be used readying the European Robotic Arm for operational use, ESA said. The crew, they added, "will move its external control panel, work on insulation and install a temporary adapter point for the robotic arm. [Cristoforetti] 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."

The arm is 37 feet (11.3 meters) long and is designed to be used by cosmonauts whether they are working inside or outside the orbiting complex. One of its features is the ability to "walk" like an inchworm, end-over-end, along the hull of the space station, much like the 21-year-old Canadarm2 built by MDA on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency. 

The European Space Agency's Samantha Cristoforetti (left) was scheduled to embark on the first European spacewalk by a female on July 21, 2022. At right is fellow astronaut Alexander Gerst.  (Image credit: ESA)

Artemyev and Cristoforetti will both wear Russian-built Orlan spacesuits during their spacewalk today, with Artemyev in a suit with red stripes while Cristoforetti's suit will bear blue stripes.

Today's spacewalk will be the sixth for Artemyev. Thursday's spacewalk will also be the sixth EVA at the ISS in 2022 and the 251st supporting its assembly and maintenance, based on past information.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace