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April 20, 2014
Friday, December 27, 2013

Camera glitch triggers marathon Russian spacewalk

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins is seen during the spacewalk

Spacewalking Russian cosmonauts on Friday spent over eight hours installing two cameras outside the International Space Station for a Canadian streaming-video business and then retrieving the gear due to connectivity problems. It was the longest spacewalk in Russian space history.

During the first part of today's planned seven-hour outing, the Russian cosmonauts set up a high-definition video camera on a swiveling platform and a medium-resolution still imager for Vancouver-based UrtheCast Corp.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, agreed to host the cameras on the $100 billion station, a project of 15 countries, in exchange for rights to use images and video taken over Russia. UrtheCast has commercial rights to images and video of the rest of the world, company Chief Executive Scott Larson told Reuters.

The venture is on hold after an unknown glitch kept the cameras, located outside the station's Zvezda command module, from communicating with ground stations.

"We decided to have the cameras brought back into the (space station) while Roscosmos works on resolving connectivity," the company said.

The world record longest spacewalk remains an 8-hour, 56-minute excursion held by NASA astronauts Susan Helms and Jim Voss in March 2001.

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