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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cosmonauts Embark on Spacewalk

Two cosmonauts on the Mir space station took a spacewalk Tuesday to mount a French-made device for catching and studying small meteorite particles.

Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Avdeyev ventured into space at 10:24 p.m. to install the meteorite trap, which should collect data on a barrage of particles expected to peak around Mir in mid-November, said Valery Lyndin, spokesman for mission control.

The cosmonauts had to move from one corner of the sprawling six-module station to another to attach the meteorite trap. The spacewalk was scheduled to last six hours.

The device will stay attached to the Mir until 1999, when it will be taken back to Earth by a French astronaut who will fly to the station early next year.

The "meteorite rain'' isn't a serious threat to Mir because it consists of tiny remnants, not full meteorites. Nevertheless, the cosmonauts will board the escape capsule at the peak of the shower.