NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet made a spacewalk on Wednesday to install a new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA). The spacewalk and installation that took 7 hours and 15 minutes were live-streamed by NASA.
“Breathtaking views from today’s spacewalk as astronauts @Thom_astro and @astro_kimbrough continue their work to install and deploy the first of the new solar arrays,” tweeted NASA.
Watch the 40-second video here
An amazing view of @Thom_Astro using a Pistol Grip Tool (PGT) to break bolts on the carrier housing the @Space_Station's new solar arrays. @Astro_Kimbrough is at a different worksite routing harnesses for a future task. pic.twitter.com/3iUUbCNqQ2
— NASA (@NASA) June 16, 2021
According to NASA, this is the seventh spacewalk of the year outside the International Space Station (ISS). The spacewalk that they took on Wednesday was the seventh for Kimbrough and the third for Pesquet. This spacewalk is the third the duo conducted together. Their next spacewalk is scheduled for Sunday, June 20.
Kimbrough has spacewalked a total of 46 hours and 15 minutes and Pesquet has spacewalked a total of 19 hours and 47 minutes. As per NASA, the Space station crew members have so far conducted 239 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory.
NASA is upgrading six of the eight power channels of ISS with new solar arrays to ensure a sufficient power supply. The new solar arrays will boost the power levels from the current 160 kilowatts to a maximum of 215 kilowatts. The new solar arrays had arrived at ISS in the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft.
The International Space Station has completed 20 years of continuous human presence in November 2020. As per NASA, “In that time, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.”