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N° 9–1996: ESA astronaut back from second spacewalk

9 February 1996

The second spacewalk carried out by Thomas Reiter, ESA's astronaut on board Mir for almost six months as a crew member on the EUROMIR 95 mission, went smoothly. It started on schedule on Thursday 8 February at 15:07 hrs Central European Time with a sortie starting from the airlock located at the end of Mir's Kvant-2 module.

Thomas Reiter and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko moved to the Spektr module to retrieve the cassettes installed in the European Space Exposure Facility last October during the first Extra Vehicular Activity.

"The recovery of the cassettes did not give rise to any problem" reported Reiter to his Swedish colleague, ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang, in charge of monitoring the mission from the TsUP mission control center in Kaliningrad, near Moscow.

A new cassette was installed in the ESEF and successfully tested in the course of the EVA, which ended at 18:09 hrs CET with the closing of the hatch.

"With the completion of this EVA", stated Reiter "the EUROMIR 95 flight is gradually coming to an end. In three weeks we will come back to Earth and we will bring back a major part of all the scientific data we collected during the last half year. We learned a lot about working in this unique environment and how to operate a space station. This experience will help on future missions. With the commitment to participate in the International Space Station programme, a new chapter in the history of manned space flight has been written for ESA and I am sure we are all eager to take up the new challenges ahead". The 180-day long EUROMIR 95 mission will end on 29 February at midday, with th Soyuz capsule landing in Kazachstan.


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