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Two Russian Cosmonauts Take Spacewalk At International Space Station

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky (left) and Pyotr Dubrov perform their first spacewalk on June 2.

Two Russian cosmonauts have exited the International Space Station (ISS) for a spacewalk to prepare for the arrival of a new Russian module.

The June 2 spacewalk, expected to last about 6 1/2 hours, is the first for both Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov, who have been on the ISS since April.

Novitsky and Dubrov have to prepare the ISS for the undocking and disposal of the Pirs docking compartment, which will be replaced later this year by a new multipurpose laboratory module called Nauka (Science).

During the spacewalk, the cosmonauts have scheduled four rest breaks, each lasting five minutes.

Besides the two Russian cosmonauts, the current ISS crew consists of NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough, and Megan McArthur; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide; and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet -- a Frenchman.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS