- Akihiko Hoshide (Japan) and Thomas Pesquet (France) did a spacewalk on Sunday
- The purpose of the excursion was to install a support bracket for the solar array
- In total, six new arrays are being added to the ISS, the first of which is installed in June.
- The two also found time to do maintenance at one of the station’s airlocks.
If you’re still looking to lose those lockdown pounds, you could do worse than a seven-hour spacewalk—which burns up to 3,000 calories, according to NASA.
Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency conducted their orbital exercises on Sunday.
The spacewalk – which began at 08:15 ET (13:15 BST) – was meant to help prepare the International Space Station (ISS) for a boost to electricity in the form of new solar arrays.
The pair installed a new support bracket outside the orbiting laboratory, near the living space, on the inward port side of the ‘P4’ truss structure.
The bracket will support the third of six new ‘roll-out’ solar arrays – so called because they are carried into orbit upwards like a stored carpet.
The first of the new arrays was successfully deployed to the station back in June.
Along with the installation of the support bracket, the astronauts also found Time for the ‘Proceed’ task – replacing part of one of the ISS’s three airlocks.
The excursion represents Mr. Pesquet’s sixth spacewalk and Mr. Hoshide’s fourth – and the 244th – to build, maintain and upgrade the space station overall.
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Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency conducted their orbital exercises on Sunday. Their spacewalk – which began at 08:15 ET (13:15 BST) – was to help prepare the International Space Station (ISS) for a boost to electricity in the form of new solar arrays. Image: Mr. Hoshide works to install a support bracket near the space station’s habitats on the ISS’ P4 truss structure
The excursion represents Mr. Pesquet’s sixth spacewalk and Mr. Hoshide’s fourth – and the construction, maintenance and upgrade of the 244th International Space Station (pictured).
As well as installing the support bracket, the astronauts also got time for the ‘move on’ task – replacing part of an airlock on the International Space Station (pictured)
How a smoke alarm on the ISS prompted NASA to declare a ‘space emergency’
NASA also provided an update Sunday last week about reports of a smoke alarm going off in the Russian Zvezda module on Wednesday.
Investigations by Russian astronauts seem to have traced the problem to a malfunction of the equipment, which has since been discontinued.
“Everything is back to normal, and they haven’t had any recurring issues,” said Dana Weigel, deputy manager of NASA’s ISS program.
‘So everything is stable and onboard is great.’
Solar arrays on the ISS have been supplying power to the station for 20 years now – by no means, given that they were only rated for 15 – and are starting to show signs of degradation due to long-term exposure to the space environment. are.
According to Dana Weigel, deputy manager of NASA’s ISS program, the solar arrays are partially destroyed by thruster plumes, which are received from the station as well as by crew and cargo vehicles that visit it on supply runs. .
‘The other factor that affects our solar arrays is micrometre debris. The arrays are made up of lots of tiny electrical wires, and over time those electrical wires can deform if they get hit by debris,’ she said. CNN News.
According to NASA, the new solar arrays — which will be placed in front of the existing ones — will increase the station’s available power from 160 to 215 kilowatts.
“The open side of the old arrays will still be generating electricity in parallel with the new arrays, but those new Iris arrays have solar cells that are more efficient than our original cells,” Ms Weigel said.
‘They have a high energy density and combined together can generate more power than our original array, when it was new, did on its own.’
Like their current counterparts, the new arrays are built to last 15 years – yet there’s a chance they’ll serve similarly long periods of time in practice.
The upgrade will also provide a test of the design of the new array, which is also planned for use in the Moon-orbiting Gateway station, which NASA will call the ‘halfway home’ for humanity’s return to the Moon in the future. as expected to be used. years.
During their spacewalk, astronauts Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet (ESA) installed a new support bracket outside the orbital laboratory, near the living spaces, on the inward port side of the ‘P4’ truss structure (pictured, top). did. Rights)
According to NASA, the new solar arrays — which will be placed in front of the existing ones — will increase the station’s available power from 160 to 215 kilowatts. Image: ISS. One of the new roll-out solar arrays being installed at
The bracket installed on Sunday’s spacewalk will support the third of six new ‘roll-out’ solar arrays (pictured in this artist’s impression, overlapping the original arrays) – so called because they orbit upwards like a stored carpet is carried
Sunday’s spacewalk was originally intended to take place on August 24 – and will feature American astronaut Mark Vande Hey instead of Mr. Pesquet.
However, NASA was forced to announce the postponement a day before the exercise, citing a ‘minor medical problem’.
Mr Vande He later revealed on Twitter that a vein in his neck was pricked.
‘Thanks for everyone’s concern,’ he wrote.
‘The support from family, friends and the leadership of NASA has been fantastic.’
While he was ultimately unable…