Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet aboard the ISS completed their spacewalk upgrade on Thursday.
They have finally installed the new iROSA roll-out solar arrays. Duration of this spacewalk was scheduled to last six and a half hours. It ended up totaling seven hours fifteen minutes, with the astronauts utilizing their battery-powered suits to traverse the exterior of the station.
It costs about 100 million dollars to install the six arrays. These were produced by US manufacturer and space infrastructure technology company Redwire Space, Inc.
The arrays which have a capacity of 120 kW, will increase the station’s power generation by 20-30 per cent.
But before the new solar array begin supplying power, the spacewalkers will need to install electrical cables and drive the final two bolts. This will thus allow the panels to unfurl into the deployed position.
The job can be viewed live on NASA’s website. This comes as NASA is augmenting six of the eight existing power channels of the space station with new solar arrays. This will ensure a sufficient power supply maintainance for NASA’s exploration technology demonstrations for Artemis and beyond.