The recent experiments collected by Russian cosmonauts have created quite a hype lately. During their visit on the ISS (International Space Station), the researchers also threw a flash drive into space, leaving us all befuddled.
Apparently, while taking a spacewalk last Wednesday, the cosmonauts made time for a patriotic ceremony among their research. Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov threw the flash drive from the station and into the limitless space, before returning to their work which consists of collecting test equipment with several trays of fungi, seed and bacteria samples.
The gesture was planned many months ago and it is part of Russia’s Victory Day celebrations. The day was the 70th anniversary for the ending of the Second World War. Back on Earth, the country offered congratulations and appreciation to numerous war veterans, by offering people the possibility of sending “thank you” texts to a certain number. As stated by the Russian Federal Space Agency, at the end of the celebrations a laser projection was set up on the Garden Ring boulevard in Moscow. Thus, all could see how many people sent messages to the veterans. The data was later on saved on a flash drive.
Malenchenko and Volkov have previously read the best congratulations while being on board of the ISS. However, their spacewalk from two days ago was the first opportunity they had to toss the flash drive into cosmos. The two had to wrap the drive in several towels in order to make it large enough to be visible on the cameras, especially since the background was not the dark sky filled with stars, but our own blue Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, the cosmonauts dropped the flash drive in retrograde in order to make sure it goes into space and not back on the ISS.
NASA did not comment on the Russian activity, but it did confirm that the gesture is completely harmless. The drive wrapped in towels is expected to enter out planet’s atmosphere in a couple of weeks.
The Russians have conducted their own personal spacewalk, separated from the astronauts from NASA. Unfortunately, Briton Tim Peake and American Tim Kopra were forced to cut short their spacewalk back in January because of a leak in Kopra’s helmet. They are currently barred from taking walks until NASA solves the issue.
The experiments collected by Russian cosmonauts for the Expose-R project are conducted by the European Space Agency. Furthermore, the astronauts are trying to test the capability of a device supposed to apply glue resistant in space.
Image Source: The Japan Times