Residents of ISS-International Space Station bid an emotional farewell to fellow crew members as the station was handed over to a new head of the crew. Outgoing Commander Alexander Misurkin gave a ceremonial key to his successor Anton Shkaplerov, the Russian Cosmonaut. The latter is now in command of ISS for the duration of Expedition 55. Misurkin, accompanied by NASA Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei of Expedition 54, disengaged from ISS on February 27. They will make a landing on the Kazakhstan steppes on February 28.
In February, the present Roscosmos astronauts made history as they broke all previous Russian records for the longest spacewalk. Shkaplerov and Misurkin together spent a total of eight hours and about 13 minutes outside ISS. The two broke the previous record set by Sergei Ryazanskiy and Oleg Kotov in 2013. The latter two made the record in December. They were shorter compared to the present record by about six minutes. These two spacemen went for their walk on 10:34 in the morning on February 2nd, Friday. The two did not open the ISS airlock until at 6:47 in the evening.
The pair, during their record-shattering spacewalk, placed a new telemetry and electronics box on one side of the antennae. This ensured a much better communication between the Russian modules and the Russian flight controllers. A number of photographs were shot of the astronauts going around their work with lights mirroring off the spacesuits.
US supersedes Russia
In another news, Russia will be surpassed by the United States as the largest oil producer in the world by 2019. This finding has been published by International Energy Agency. The continuance of American shale oil boom has disrupted the global markets. Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director, said that the pace of the US shale growth continues to be extremely strong. The output of US crude went above 10 million bpd or barrels per day during the latter part of 2017 for the initial time since the 1970s. The country has overtaken Saudi Arabia, the previous top oil exporter. This has been corroborated by the US Energy Information Administration. It said that American output would cross 11 million bpd by late 2018. The figures will put the US ahead of Russia. The latter now pumps a little underneath that mark.