NASA TV Broadcasts Spacewalk for Solar Array Mods on Friday

The International Space Station
The International Space Station is pictured orbiting Earth in October of 2018.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi are scheduled to exit the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Friday for a spacewalk to complete the installation of solar array modification kits, which were started during the Feb. 28 spacewalk in preparation for solar array upgrades.

The pair will set their spacesuits to battery power about 7 a.m. EST tomorrow, signifying the start of their spacewalk, which is expected to last about six and a half hours. NASA will begin its live coverage on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website at 5:30 a.m.

Rubins and fellow NASA astronaut Victor Glover began work to install modification kits on the farthest set of solar rays on the station’s Port-6 truss structure during the recent spacewalk. Noguchi will join Rubins in tomorrow’s spacewalk to complete the installation and configuration of the kits in preparation for new solar arrays. The new solar arrays, which will be delivered to the space station on upcoming SpaceX Dragon cargo missions, are a larger version of the Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) technology and will ultimately increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.

This will be the 236th spacewalk in support of space station assembly. Rubins will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1) and wear a spacesuit bearing red stripes. Noguchi will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing a suit with no stripes.

Rubins arrived at the space station Oct. 14, 2020, aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and Noguchi arrived at the space station in November as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission. This will be the fourth career spacewalk for each astronaut.

Roscosmos Cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov continued work this week to seal a crack  in the service module of the Zvezda compartment aboard the International Space Station. This was part of ongoing work to isolate and fix the source of a slight increase above the standard cabin air leak rate aboard the station teams have been investigating over the last year. The crew is in no danger, and the space station has ample consumables aboard to manage and maintain the nominal environment.

To seal the crack, the crew will drill holes in the tips of the cracks to prevent any potential future growth. The cracks will then be sealed right away with two types of sealing paste. Several more layers of paste will be applied with a reinforcement patch, which will be covered with another layer of sealing paste.

After completing the crack repair work, a series of leak checks will be performed.

The metal pieces, instrument data and photos collected will all be sent back to Earth for further analysis.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *