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World's Oldest Spacewalker: Russian Cosmonaut Makes Space History at 59

• Megan Gannon via

Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov made spaceflight history high above Earth on Friday (April 19) when, at age 59,  he became the oldest person ever to venture outside a spacecraft during a spacewalk that was only marred by the last-minute loss of an experiment.

Vinogradov, a veteran cosmonaut, took his seventh cosmic excursion in 16 years during Friday's spacewalk. He donned a bulky spacesuit and left the confines of the International Space Station just after 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) to upgrade the orbiting lab with new experiments. 

Vinogradov paired up with 41-year-old fellow cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, a first-time spacewalker but second-generation cosmonaut. Romanenko's father, former cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko, logged more than 10 spacewalking hours in his career.
The spacewalkers were at times lighthearted during the more-than-six-hour job.

"Nobody took a photo of me," Romanenko jokingly protested aftering they used a camera to take pictures outside the lab. "How can it be like that? Please take a photo of me, Pavel."

In the last task of the spacewalk, Vinogradov was attempting to retrieve a panel from the Russian materials exposure experiment called Vinoslivost, but the panel flew out of his grasp before he had a chance to tether it. The cosmonauts were unable to recover the piece.

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