Watch live:

Russian becomes world's oldest spacewalker at 59

Associated Press
In this image made from video provided by NASA, Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov, left, and Roman Romanenko perform a spacewalk outside the International Space Station to gather old science experiments and install new ones, and replace a navigation device. (AP Photo/NASA)
.

View photo

In this image made from video provided by NASA, Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov, left, and Roman Romanenko perform a spacewalk outside the International Space Station to gather old science experiments and install new ones, and replace a navigation device. (AP Photo/NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A 59-year-old Russian cosmonaut became the world's oldest spacewalker Friday, joining a much younger cosmonaut's son for maintenance work outside the International Space Station.

Pavel Vinogradov, a cosmonaut for two decades, claimed the honor as he emerged from the hatch with Roman Romanenko. But he inadvertently added to the booming population of space junk when he lost his grip on an experiment tray that he was retrieving toward the end of the 6½-hour spacewalk.

The lost aluminum panel — 18 inches by 12 inches and about 6½ pounds — contained metal samples. Scientists wanted to see how the samples had fared after a year out in the vacuum of space.

Otherwise, the spacewalk had gone well, with the spacewalkers installing new science equipment and replacing a navigation device needed for the June arrival of a European cargo ship.

Collecting the experiment tray was Vinogradov's last task outside.

The tray drifted toward the solar panels of the main Russian space station compartment, called Zvezda, Russian for Star. Flight controllers did not believe it struck anything, and the object was not thought to pose a safety hazard in the hours and days ahead.

"That's unfortunate," someone radioed in Russian.

Another panel of similar experiments will be collected on a future spacewalk.

This is the first of eight spacewalks to be conducted this year, most of them by Russians. Two will be led by NASA this summer.

Until Friday, the oldest spacewalker was retired NASA astronaut Story Musgrave, who was 58 when he helped fix the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993.

Romanenko, 41, is a second-generation spaceman who's following in his father's bootsteps. Retired cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko performed spacewalks back in the 1970s and 1980s. This is the son's first experience out in the vacuum of space.

Vinogradov made his seventh spacewalk; he ventured into a dark, ruptured chamber at Russia's old Mir space station in 1997 following a cargo ship collision. He arrived late last month for a six-month stay at the space station; he'll turn 60 aboard the orbiting complex in August.

The spacewalkers joked as they toiled 260 miles above the planet.

"I'm afraid of the darkness," one of them said in Russian as the space station passed over the night side of Earth.

Russian flight controllers outside Moscow oversaw Friday's action. The four other space station residents monitored the activity from inside; Canadian commander Chris Hadfield drew the short straw and had to work on a balky toilet.

___

Online:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

View Comments (135)

Recommended for You

  • Photo of Chicago police officers posing over black man as hunted animal released: newspaper

    (Reuters) - A photo of two white Chicago police officers holding rifles and posing over a black man wearing antlers like an animal killed on a hunt was released by an Illinois court, the Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday. The news comes amid a national outcry against police treatment of…

    Reuters
  • Racist trolling casts pall over US spelling bee

    Racist trolling on social media is casting an ugly pall over, of all things, the world's foremost spelling bee. For seven years in a row, and for 11 of the past 15 years, the $30,000 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship has been won by American youngsters of Indian heritage. One of them,…

    AFP
  • California man drowns swimming across pond with rock: newspaper

    A man drowned on his 21st birthday after attempting to swim across a pond in northern California while carrying a 10-pound (4.5 kg) rock, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday. The California Highway Patrol told the newspaper that Austin Harr was with friends at a pond in the Oroville…

    Reuters
  • Play

    Police Make Example of Homeless Man Begging With $800 in Pockets

    A police department in Louisiana took issue of homelessness on their Facebook page last week in an unapologetic way, after arresting a homeless man who had $800 in cash stuffed in his pockets.

    Tribune
  • US threatening 'chaos' in Asia-Pacific: China

    China accused the United States on Thursday of threatening to sow "chaos" in the Asia-Pacific region by inciting countries whose territorial claims in the South China Sea clash with those of Beijing. China is rapidly building artificial islands in the disputed waters, and US Defense Secretary…

    AFP
  • No exit: For female jihadis, Syria is one-way journey

    PARIS (AP) — When three British schoolgirls trundled across the Syrian border; when a pregnant 14-year-old ran away from her Alpine home for the second time; when a sheltered girl from the south of France booked her first trip abroad — they were going to a place of no return.

    Associated Press
  • Putin classifies information on deaths of Russian troops on special missions

    President Vladimir Putin on Thursday declared all deaths of Russian soldiers during special operations to be classified as a state secret, a move that comes as Moscow stands accused of sending soldiers to fight in eastern Ukraine. Putin, who has repeatedly denied any involvement of Russian troops…

    Reuters
  • Paula Deen Products for Less

    We've got fantastic bargains on Paula Deen products. Compare prices and choose from a wide range at Nextag!

    NextagSponsored
  • The Statin Dilemma: a Primer for Patients

    Statins have redefined the treatment of heart disease. Statins work by halting or reducing the buildup of fatty plaque inside blood vessels, a condition known as atherosclerosis, chiefly fueled by abnormally high cholesterol and the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. A true game changer in…

    U.S.News & World Report
  • Kansas man missing for 23 years found submerged in car

    By Kevin Murphy KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Reuters) - The body of a man missing since 1992 has been recovered from the driver's seat of a car submerged in a Kansas lake, authorities said on Tuesday. Fremont O'Berg, who was 57 when he disappeared, was found alone in his 1981 Chevrolet Citation automobile in…

    Reuters
  • A closer look at those killed in Texas, Oklahoma weather

    At least 21 people have died in flooding and tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas since the start of the Memorial Day weekend. A look at the lives of some of the victims:

    Associated Press
  • Amazing Bargains on Electric Bikes

    We've got the model you want for less right here. Compare deals and save big on parts and accessories too!

    PricemachineSponsored
  • Baltimore residents fearful amid rash of homicides

    BALTIMORE (AP) — Antoinette Perrine has barricaded her front door since her brother was killed three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore. She already has iron bars outside her windows and added metal slabs on the inside to deflect the…

    Associated Press
  • Six reasons so many Republicans are running for president

    When all the announcements are in, the Republican presidential field could have close to 20 candidates – and that’s not counting the fringe. It’s shaping up to be the largest GOP field in modern history. The Republicans have a habit of nominating the “next in line” – that is, someone who ran before…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • To see why Amtrak's losses mount, hop on the Empire Builder train

    By Ernest Scheyder ABOARD THE EMPIRE BUILDER (Reuters) - Its passengers are mostly silver-haired retirees, oil-field workers and a few young families gazing out the windows of Amtrak's least-profitable and third-longest line, rumbling from Chicago through eight states and on to the American West…

    Reuters
  • Putin condemns US over FIFA probe

    Russia switched the focus of its tensions with America from Ukraine to the football pitch Thursday with President Vladimir Putin lashing out over the US probe into FIFA. The Kremlin strongman condemned the arrest of seven top FIFA officials, accusing Washington of trying to oust football boss Sepp…

    AFP
  • Looking for Cheap Prices on Bed Frames?

    End your search here - find huge bargains on bed frames. Compare great deals, popular designs and more . fast!

    CalibexSponsored
  • View

    Balloon animals (15 photos)

    A series of balloon animals have become super-realistic thanks to an artists amazing photoshop talents. Sarah DeRemer, 25, from Los Angeles, uses actual photos of animals faces and coats to give pictures of balloons an animal kingdom twist. She has managed to turn a balloon dog and a butterfly -…

    Yahoo News35 mins ago
  • These are the States That Have 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

    The story begins in February, when Cody Devine, 34, and Janai Wilson, 29, apparently went, without permission, to a vacant rental property near Reno, Nevada, owned by Wayne Burgarello. The case is an important reminder about the debate over Stand Your Ground laws. Thirty-three states have adopted…

    Takepart.com
  • French barman sentenced after man drinks 56 shots and dies

    Clermont-Ferrand (France) (AFP) - A French barman received a suspended jail sentence Wednesday after he was convicted of manslaughter for letting a man do 56 shots during a drinking contest that led to his death. Renaud Prudhomme, 56, broke the in-house shots record last October at Starter, a bar…

    AFP