WORLD US, French astronauts make ISS spacewalk

WORLD

US, French astronauts make ISS spacewalk

Global Times

18:14, June 21, 2021

This NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter right after it successfully completed a high-speed spin-up test, captured by the Mastcam-Z instrument on Perseverance on April 16, 2021.(Photo: VCG)

A French and an American astronaut completed a six-hour spacewalk Sunday as they installed new solar panels to boost power supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA said.

"It is a huge team effort each time and couldn't be happier to return with @astro_kimbrough," tweeted Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, referring to his American colleague Shane Kimbrough.

Pesquet is with the European Space Agency, Kimbrough with NASA.

The two men, who arrived on the space station in late April, activated the internal batteries in their space suits at 11H42 GMT, then opened the hatch to the ISS airlock.

They then continued the work of positioning, attaching and deploying six new-generation solar panels, referred to as iROSA, for Roll-Out Solar Array.

The panels, 60 feet (19 meters) long when deployed, were delivered to the station in early June by an uncrewed SpaceX flight.

The astronauts are slated to complete the installation of a second solar panel array on Friday.

The new panels, which will power both daily operations and the research and science projects carried out on the ISS, are expected to have a 15-year lifespan.

Sunday's outing was the fourth time the two astronauts had ventured into space together.

In all, there have been 240 ISS spacewalks as astronauts carry out the work of assembling and maintaining, as well as upgrading, the station.

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