Friday, 19 April 2024

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet (left) and JAXA astronaut Aki Hoshide (right) performed another spacewalk on Sunday, September 12 to prepare the other section of the International Space Station to have its solar panel updated.

he new solar panels, called IROSA (ISS Roll-Out Solar Array), are being gradually installed over the existing panels to augment the energy system of the International Space Station.

Thomas and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough prepared and installed two IROSA solar panels in three spacewalks during June. The arrays were taken from their storage area on the outside of the Space Station and passed from once spacewalker to another toward the working area. There, the rolled up arrays were secured, unfolded, connected and unfurled.

Aki and Thomas prepared truss P4 for the installation of IROSA.This is the same area where Thomas and Shane installed two IROSA, but closer to the main body of the Space Station, in an area called channel 4A. Here, only one new solar panel will be installed during a subsequent spacewalk.

While Sunday’s extravehicular activity (EVA) has already been the fourth spacewalk during Thomas’ Alpha mission, it was the first one in the company of Aki and the first time that a spacewalking pair did not feature a Russian or American astronaut.

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