Second of the New Solar Arrays Successfully Deployed

The 60-foot-long roll out solar arrays were successfully deployed in a process that took about 10 minutes.
The 60-foot-long roll out solar arrays were successfully deployed in a process that took about 10 minutes.

Working together outside the International Space Station, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough successfully installed, connected, and deployed a new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA). The array deployment began at 1:45 p.m. EDT using stored kinetic energy, unfurling over the course of about 10 minutes. Mission control confirmed good power generation on the new array.

It is the second of six total new iROSAs that will be installed in the coming years to upgrade the station’s power supply and completes installation of the pair delivered aboard SpaceX’s cargo Dragon on the company’s 22nd commercial resupply services mission to the station.

The new solar arrays are positioned in front of current arrays, which are functioning well but have begun to show signs of expected degradation as they have operated beyond their designed 15-year service life. The first pair of legacy solar arrays were deployed in December 2000 and have been powering the station for more than 20 years.

The new solar array is positioned in front of the current solar array on the same plane and rotary joints, but not directly on top of the primary solar arrays. The new arrays are 60 feet long by 20 feet wide (18.2 meters by 6 meters) and will shade a little more than half of the original array, which is 112 feet long by 39 feet wide. Each new iROSA will produce more than 20 kilowatts of electricity, while the current arrays generate, on average, 17 to 23 kilowatts each.

Boeing, NASA’s prime contractor for space station operations, its subsidiary Spectrolab, and major supplier Deployable Space Systems (DSS) provided the new arrays. The technology was developed and proven by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate during a demonstration on the space station in 2017, and the same solar array design will be used to power elements of the agency’s Gateway lunar outpost as well as on the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.

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

Spacewalkers Complete First Roll Out Solar Array Installation

Spacewalkers Shane Kimbrough (foreground) and Thomas Pesquet work to prepare the second roll out solar array ready for installation an upcoming spacewalk.
Spacewalkers Shane Kimbrough (foreground) and Thomas Pesquet work to prepare the second roll out solar array ready for installation an upcoming spacewalk.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet concluded their spacewalk at 2:10 p.m. EDT, after 6 hours and 28 minutes. In the eighth spacewalk of the year outside the International Space Station, the two astronauts completed the deployment of a new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) on the far end of the left (port) side of the station’s backbone truss structure (P6).

Kimbrough and Pesquet successfully unfolded the solar array, bolted it into place, and connected cables to the station’s power supply to complete deployment. Additionally, the astronauts removed and stowed hardware in preparation for releasing the second iROSA from the flight support structure for installation. The pair will work toward the second solar array upgrade – this one on the P6 truss’ 4B power channel – during another spacewalk, tentatively scheduled for June 25.

NASA is augmenting six of the eight existing power channels of the space station with new solar arrays to ensure a sufficient power supply is maintained for NASA’s exploration technology demonstrations for Artemis and beyond as well as utilization and commercialization.

This was the eighth spacewalk for Kimbrough, the fourth for Pesquet, and the fourth they have conducted together. Kimbrough has now spent a total of 52 hours and 43 minutes spacewalking, and Pesquet’s total spacewalking time is 26 hours and 15 minutes.

Space station crew members have conducted 240 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 63 days and 56 minutes working outside the station.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. 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.

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

Spacewalkers Successfully Deploy Solar Arrays

The 60-foot-long roll out solar arrays were successfully deployed over the United States in a process that took about 6 minutes.
The 60-foot-long roll out solar arrays are seen deploying as the space station soared over the United States in a process that took about 6 minutes.

Working together outside the International Space Station, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough successfully connected and deployed a new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA). It is the first of six total new iROSAs that will be installed in the coming years to upgrade the station’s power supply and is the first of two to be installed this week after the pair’s delivery aboard SpaceX’s cargo Dragon on the company’s 22nd commercial resupply services mission to the station.

The new solar arrays are being positioned in front of current arrays, which are functioning well but have begun to show signs of expected degradation as they have operated beyond their designed 15-year service life. The first pair of legacy solar arrays were deployed in December 2000 and have been powering the station for more than 20 years.

The new solar array is positioned in front of the current solar array on the same plane and rotary joints, but not directly on top of the primary solar arrays. The new arrays are 60 feet long by 20 feet wide (18.2 meters by 6 meters) and will shade a little more than half of the original array, which is 112 feet long by 39 feet wide. Each new iROSA will produce more than 20 kilowatts of electricity, while the current arrays generate, on average, 17 to 23 kilowatts each.

Boeing, NASA’s prime contractor for space station operations, its subsidiary Spectrolab, and major supplier Deployable Space Systems (DSS) provided the new arrays. The technology was developed and proven by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate during a demonstration on the space station in 2017, and the same solar array design will be used to power elements of the agency’s Gateway lunar outpost.

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

NASA TV Broadcasts Solar Array Spacewalk on Sunday

Spacewalkers (from left) Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet work to install new roll out solar arrays on the International Space Station's P-6 truss structure.
Spacewalkers (from left) Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet work to install new roll out solar arrays on the International Space Station’s P-6 truss structure.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet are scheduled to exit the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Sunday for a spacewalk to continue installation and deployment of the first of six total new solar arrays to help power the orbiting laboratory. The duo installed the solar array into its mounting bracket during a June 16 spacewalk.

Live coverage of the spacewalk will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning June 20 at 6:30 a.m. EDT, with the crew members scheduled to set their spacesuits to battery power about 8 a.m., signifying the start of their spacewalk.

During the planned six-and-a-half hour spacewalk, Kimbrough and Pesquet will work on the far end of the left (port) side of the station’s backbone truss structure (P6) to deploy, or unroll, the first of two ISS Roll Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs) that will augment power capability for the port 6 truss’ 2B power channel.

Two of the six new solar arrays recently arrived as part of SpaceX’s 22nd commercial resupply services mission to the station. During the June 16 spacewalk, Kimbrough and Pesquet began installing the first of the two, but were unable to fully deploy the solar array due to a structural interference with a mounting bracket. The array was securely fastened to the flight support structure.

Before the new array can be deployed and begin providing power to the orbiting laboratory, the two will need to install the electrical cables and drive the final two bolts to enable the solar array to unroll it into its fully laid-out position. If deployment is completed Sunday, the pair may be scheduled for a third spacewalk to begin work to prepare the second new solar array – this one on P6 truss’ 4B power channel – for installation and deployment.

The new solar arrays will augment the existing arrays, which are functioning well but have begun to show signs of expected degradation as they have operated beyond their designed 15-year service life. The first pair of solar arrays were deployed in December 2000 and have been powering the station for more than 20 years.

This will be the 240th spacewalk in support of space station assembly. Pesquet will be extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), with red stripes on his spacesuit, while Kimbrough will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2) in an unmarked suit.

This will be the eighth spacewalk for Kimbrough, and the fourth for Pesquet. Both astronauts arrived at the space station April 24 with NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour. The two are slated for a for a six-month science mission.

Watch a video providing status update on space station activities, and learn more about the orbiting laboratory by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Spacewalk to Install First New Solar Array Concluded

Spacewalkers Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet working at the Port-6 truss during EVA 74. Credit: NASA TV
Spacewalkers Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet working at the Port-6 truss during EVA 74. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet concluded their spacewalk at 3:26 p.m. EDT, after 7 hours and 15 minutes. In the seventh spacewalk of the year outside the International Space Station, the two astronauts installed a new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) into its mounting bracket on the far end of the left (port) side of the station’s backbone truss structure (P6).

Kimbrough and Pesquet successfully removed the array from its position in the flight support equipment and maneuvered it into position on the mast canister at the 2B power channel.

Before the new array can be deployed and begin providing power to the orbiting laboratory, spacewalkers will need to install the electrical cables and drive the final two bolts to enable the solar array to unfurl its fully deployed position. Pesquet and Kimbrough are scheduled for another spacewalk coming up on Sunday, June 20 to continue the installation of new solar arrays.

NASA is augmenting six of the eight existing power channels of the space station with new solar arrays to ensure a sufficient power supply is maintained for NASA’s exploration technology demonstrations for Artemis and beyond as well as utilization and commercialization.

This was the seventh spacewalk for Kimbrough, the third for Pesquet, and the third they conducted together. Kimbrough has now spent a total of 46 hours and 15 minutes spacewalking, and Pesquet’s total spacewalking time is 19 hours and 47 minutes.

Space station crew members have conducted 239 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 62 days, 18 hours, and 28 minutes working outside the station.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. 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.

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

Astronauts Begin Spacewalk to Install Roll-Out Solar Arrays

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough (left) and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet (right) are today’s spacewalkers.
NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough (left) and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet (right) are today’s spacewalkers.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough have begun their spacewalk outside the International Space Station to install and deploy the first new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA).

The spacewalkers switched their spacesuits to battery power at 8:11 a.m. EDT to begin the spacewalk, which is expected to last about six and a half hours.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV, the NASA app, and on the agency’s website.

Pesquet is extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing a spacesuit bearing red stripes and using helmet camera #20. Kimbrough is extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the unmarked spacesuit and helmet camera #22.

It is the third spacewalk Kimbrough and Pesquet have conducted together, following two Expedition 50 spacewalks in January and March 2017 that included another station power upgrade, replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries.

From inside the space station, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur will command Canadarm2 with Pesquet attached to maneuver the array closer to the installation location on the far end of the left (port) side of the station’s backbone truss structure (P6) to upgrade the 2B power channel.

This is the 239th spacewalk in support of space station assembly.

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

Watch Spacewalkers Install New Solar Arrays on Wednesday

Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei support astronauts Thomas Pesquet (left) and Shane Kimbrough (right) as they test their U.S. spacesuits for a fit verification.
Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei support astronauts Thomas Pesquet (left) and Shane Kimbrough (right) as they test their U.S. spacesuits for a fit verification.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet are scheduled to exit the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Wednesday for a spacewalk to install and deploy the first of six new solar arrays to help power the orbiting laboratory.

Live coverage of the spacewalk will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning June 16 at 6:30 a.m. EDT, with the crew members scheduled to set their spacesuits to battery power about 8 a.m., signifying the start of their spacewalk.

During the planned six-and-a-half hour spacewalk, Kimbrough and Pesquet will work on the far end of the left (port) side of the station’s backbone truss structure (P6) to upgrade the 2B power channel with the installation and deployment of an ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSAs).

Two of the new solar arrays arrived at the station in the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft as part of the company’s 22nd commercial resupply services mission to the station. On June 10, operators in the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center used the station’s robotic Canadarm2 to extract the solar arrays from Dragon’s trunk in preparation for the installation. On Sunday, June 20, Kimbrough and Pesquet will install the second array to upgrade the 4B power channel on the P6 truss.

The new solar arrays will augment the existing arrays, which are functioning well but have begun to show signs of expected degradation as they have operated beyond their designed 15-year service life. The first pair of solar arrays were deployed in December 2000 and have been powering the station for more than 20 years.

This will be the 239th spacewalk in support of space station assembly. Pesquet will be extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), with red stripes on his spacesuit, while Kimbrough will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), with an unmarked suit. Canadarm2 will be used to maneuver the arrays into place, commanded from inside the station by NASA astronaut Megan McArthur with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei serving as backup.

The spacewalks will be the seventh and eighth for Kimbrough, and the third and fourth for Pesquet. The pair arrived for a six-month science mission at the space station April 24 with NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour.

Watch a video providing an overview of the spacewalk and learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.