For the third time in less than two weeks, two astronauts ventured outside of the International Space Station to augment the orbiting outpost’s power system with new solar arrays. Two astronauts ventured out of the International Space Station for the third time in less that two weeks to add solar arrays to the orbiting station’s power system.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet with the European Space Agency (ESA) completed a six-hour and 45-minute spacewalk on Friday (June 25), during which they install the second of six new International Space Station (ISS) Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSA).
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, and Thomas Pesquet, a French astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA), completed a six-hour-long spacewalk Friday (June 25). They installed the second of six new International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays. They previously worked together on spacewalks June 16 and 20 to deploy the first array.
Friday’s extravehicular activities (EVA) positioned a second iROSA against the first on the port (port) side the space station’s backbone truss. The new arrays are now in place on both the port 6 (P6) power channels and the 2B (4B) power channels.
The new, more capable but smaller arrays are being installed in front of the station’s existing arrays such that they partially overlay the older, larger fixtures. The legacy arrays are beginning to show signs of degraded power production as they have operated beyond their 15-year design life. The P6 arrays — the first pair deployed in December 2000 — have been generating electricity for the station for more than 20 years.
When used in tandem, the legacy and new arrays will be capable of increasing the station’s power supply by 20% to 30%.
NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei controlled the robotic arm from inside the space station.
Once moved into place, Kimbrough and Pesquet worked to affix the iROSA to its mount on the canister at the base of the P6/4B array. The post is designed to tilt the iROSA forward from the legacy array by 10 degrees.
The spacewalkers unfolded the iROSA from its launch configuration to its full 20-foot (6 meters) length. They then worked on driving bolts to secure the array in place and, after waiting for the station to enter a nighttime pass, ran cables to tie the array into the 4B power channel.