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.