Crew Looks to Friday Spacewalk, Cargo Ship Swap Next Week

Spacewalkers (from left) Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet work to complete the installation of a roll out solar array on June 20, 2021,
Spacewalkers (from left) Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet work to complete the installation of a roll out solar array on June 20, 2021,

The Expedition 65 crew continued its space research activities today while two astronauts prepared for their third spacewalk in less than two weeks. The International Space Station will also see a U.S. cargo craft depart and a Russian one launch on the same day next week.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei strapped himself to an exercise cycle and attached sensors to himself on Tuesday morning for a workout study measuring aerobic capacity in space. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur explored how bacteria is affected by microgravity and ways to counteract harmful changes.

Eye checks were back on the schedule for four astronauts on Tuesday afternoon. Commander Akihiko Hoshide and Vande Hei took turns operating medical imaging gear and scanned the eyes of astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet. A variety of eye exams take place on the station helping researchers understand how weightlessness impacts an astronaut’s vision.

Kimbrough and Pesquet are also getting ready for more solar array installation work on the outside of the orbiting lab. The duo reviewed procedures today for installing a second roll out solar array on the station’s Port-6 truss structure. The veteran spacewalkers will set their spacesuits to battery power at 8 a.m. EDT on Friday signifying the official start of their third excursion in 9 days. Live coverage on NASA TV starts at 6:30 a.m. on the agency’s website and the NASA app.

Hoshide and Vande Hei spent some time Tuesday morning loading Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter ahead of its departure scheduled for July 29 at 12:25 p.m. Russia’s ISS Progress 78 resupply ship will launch the same day at 7:27 p.m. and dock to the station two days later at 9:02 p.m.

Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy packed the ISS Progress 77 resupply ship readying the vehicle for its undocking in late July. The veteran cosmonaut also trapped clouds of particles using both neon and argon gas for a plasma crystal experiment. Russian Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov had an exercise test on a treadmill today then serviced a variety of communications and life support hardware.

Astronauts Look to Friday Spacewalk after Roll Out Solar Array Installation

Spacewalker Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) works to complete the installation of a roll out solar array on the International Space Station's Port-6 truss structure.
Spacewalker Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) works to complete the installation of a roll out solar array on the International Space Station’s Port-6 truss structure.

The International Space Station has a new solar array that was installed during Sunday’s spacewalk by Expedition 65 astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet. The duo will conduct a third spacewalk on Friday to install a second solar array.

The first ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) was successfully installed and deployed during a spacewalk on Sunday and is performing well. Ground teams will continue to collect data on its performance and compare it to last year’s information, calculating the total power gained.

Kimbrough and Pesquet completed the solar array installation work and began configuring a second iROSA during Sunday’s six-hour and 28-minute spacewalk. The duo now turns its attention to Friday’s excursion to install the second iROSA on the opposite side of the Port-6 truss structure where the first solar array is installed. NASA TV, on the agency’s website, and the NASA app, will start its live coverage at 6:30 a.m. with the spacewalk set to begin at 8 a.m. when the veteran spacewalkers set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power.

The spacewalking duo joined NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei for a conference with ground specialists. Then Kimbrough and Pesquet serviced some spacesuit components and organized tools for Friday’s upcoming spacewalk. McArthur and Vande Hei will once again assist the pair in and out of their spacesuits and provide robotics support on Friday.

Research still continued aboard the orbital lab today as the crew explored pharmaceuticals, protein crystals and the human eye.

Commander Akihiko Hoshide serviced samples inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a study that explores freeze-drying as a way to preserve medicines for long periods of time. Kimbrough peered through a microscope looking at samples for the Real-Time Protein Crystal Growth experiment which could lead to new disease therapies on Earth.

Vande Hei took on the crew medical officer role today and scanned the eyes of McArthur using medical imaging hardware. The eye exams take place regularly on the station since astronauts have reported vision issues after living in space for months.

The two Roscosmos flight engineers, cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, split their day between science and maintenance activities. Novitskiy explored plasma crystals first then photographed the condition of the Pirs docking compartment ahead of its departure later this summer. Dubrov checked communications gear and worked Russian life support hardware.

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.

Astronauts Begin Spacewalk to Complete Solar Array Installation

Veteran astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough are conducting their fourth spacewalk together today. Their first two spacewalks together were during Expedition 50 on 2017.
Veteran astronauts (from left) Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough are conducting their fourth spacewalk together today. Their first two spacewalks together were during Expedition 50 on 2017.

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 7:42 a.m. EDT to begin the spacewalk, which is expected to last about six-and-a-half hours.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV on the NASA app and 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.

Pesquet will take lead moving to the P6 worksite, the pair will both work to unfold the new solar array on the 2B power channel, and Kimbrough will drive in the two remaining bolts to secure the solar array in place. Then, the pair will mate cable to connect the array to the station’s power supply to complete deployment. If time allows, the spacewalkers will turn to get-ahead tasks for the second iROSA installation.

This is the fourth spacewalk Kimbrough and Pesquet have conducted together, following the recent spacewalk that initiated the first iROSA upgrade, and including two Expedition 50 spacewalks in January and March 2017 that included another station power upgrade, replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries.

This is the 240th 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.

NASA TV is Live as Astronauts Get Ready for Spacewalk

Spacewalkers (from left) Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough will work to deploy the first new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) to upgrade the station’s power supply.
Spacewalkers (from left) Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough will work to deploy the first new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) to upgrade the station’s power supply.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet is now underway and is also available on the NASA app and the agency’s website.

The Expedition 65 crew members are preparing to go outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk expected to begin at approximately 8 a.m. EDT and last about six and a half hours.

The astronauts are in their spacesuits in the airlock in preparation to exit the space station and begin today’s activities to deploy the first new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) to upgrade the station’s power supply.

Kimbrough and Pesquet will be working near the farthest set of current solar arrays on the station’s left (port) side, known as P6, to continue the solar array upgrade on the 2B power channel. The two installed the solar array into its mounting bracket during a June 16 spacewalk, but an interference associated with the array’s hinge created an alignment issue and prevented a full roll-out. Ground teams have since identified the solution related to the sequence of deployment.

The crew members will work together to deploy the solar array from its flight support structure. Once they complete unfolding and the new array and driving the final two bolts into place, the spacewalkers install cables to for connection to the station’s electronics. If successful, Kimbrough and Pesquet will turn their attention to get-ahead work for the second iROSA installation.

Leading the mission control team today is Flight Director Ron Spencer with support from Kieth Johnson as the lead spacewalk officer.

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.

Station Crew Preps for Sunday Spacewalk, Works Space Science

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet is pictured attached to the end of the Canadarm2 robotic arm during a spacewalk to install new roll out solar arrays.
Astronaut Thomas Pesquet is pictured attached to the end of the Canadarm2 robotic arm during a spacewalk to install new roll out solar arrays.

The Expedition 65 crew is checking spacesuits and tools following Wednesday’s spacewalk while also getting ready for a second spacewalk on Sunday. There was also time aboard the International Space Station for ongoing research and maintenance.

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet completed Wednesday’s spacewalk after seven hours and 15 minutes beginning the installation of a pair of new roll out solar arrays. The duo now turns its attention to a Sunday spacewalk to continue more solar array installation work on the orbiting lab’s P-6 truss segment. NASA TV will begin its live coverage at 6:30 a.m. EDT for all the spacewalk activities.

The spacewalkers and their assistants NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei began Thursday morning relaxing. The quartet then spent the day checking spacesuit components, organizing spacewalk tools and calling down to the ground for a conference with specialists.

Space science continued today, as Commander Akihiko Hoshide spent some time servicing samples for a study to improve quality and extend the shelf-life of medicines on Earth and in space. Vande Hei also worked a couple of hours on the Oral Biofilms experiment investigating how bacteria is affected by microgravity and ways to counteract harmful changes.

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov began Thursday morning exploring how microgravity impacts the immune system before moving on and studying ways to maximize the effectiveness of space exercise. Fellow Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy worked on a variety of Russian station hardware and swapped samples inside the Electromagnetic Levitator for a study observing chill-cooled industrial alloys.

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.

Spacewalk activities continue after Shane Kimbrough troubleshoots spacesuit

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough photographed during a spacewalk in January 2017.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough photographed during a spacewalk in January 2017.

About three hours into today’s spacewalk, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough made his way back to the Quest airlock at the International Space Station to reconnect his spacesuit to an umbilical connection and restarted it. The reset corrected the issues with his spacesuit’s display and controls module that provides him information about the status of his spacesuit.

In addition, after seeing a spike in the reading for pressure in his sublimator, which provides cooling for his spacesuit, flight controllers had Kimbrough cycle the sublimator. The data stabilized.

Kimbrough is safe and has now made his way back to the worksite where the new solar arrays remain in the flight support equipment.

Meanwhile, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet remained in the foot restraint attached to the end of the station’s robotic Canadarm2 in preparation to continue the work to release the new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) from the flight support equipment.

The spacewalking duo is preparing to install the iROSA in front of the current solar arrays on the station’s left (port) side, known as P6, to upgrade the 2B power channel and will resume working through the next steps on today’s timeline.

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

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.