HOUSTON (CW39) It’s another milestone for NASA and the International Space Station! NASA flight engineer Shane Kimbrough and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet conducting the first of two spacewalks this morning. Their are installing 2 of 6 solar arrays to the ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs) to ultimately upgrade six of the station’s eight power channel.
This is all part of the mission to support the stations assembly, maintenance, and upgrades. Today they are installing the first array on the far end of the left (port) side of the station’s backbone truss structure to upgrade the power channel. On Sunday, June 20, the duo will install the second solar array to upgrade the 4B power channel on the P6 truss.
The 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. The current solar arrays are functioning well but have begun to show signs of degradation, as expected, since they were designed for a 15-year service life. The first pair of the space station’s original solar arrays were deployed in December 2000 and have been powering the station for more than 20 years. The new solar arrays will be positioned in front of six of the current arrays, increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to a maximum of 215 kilowatts. The same solar array design will be used to power elements of the agency’s Gateway lunar outpost.
To Learn More, visit the IIS here!