New walk outside the ISS for Thomas Pesquet: which mission after Wednesday’s events?

Thomas Pesquet, along with his American colleague Shane Kimbrough, with whom he flew, repairs a solar panel on the ISS, 400 kilometers from Earth, in the vacuum of space.

Space – French astronauts will complete their second mission in five days outside the International Space Station this Sunday. With Wednesday’s release, the operation will include the installation of a new solar panel.

We take that and start all over again. French astronaut Thomas Pesquet is due to conduct a spacewalk this Sunday, the second after Wednesday, that can only be partially completed due to a series of events. This new mission, as before, will involve the installation of a latest generation solar panel, called IROSA, outside the International Space Station (ISS) with the aim of increasing the energy generation capacity of the laboratory. The operation will begin around 2 pm (Paris time) and should last 6 hours 30 minutes. It will be broadcast live and in French on Web TV (Channel 2) of the European Space Agency (ESA).

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Thomas Pesquet in Space

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First mission punctuated by various events

During Wednesday’s outing, the mission had to be temporarily halted following a problem in the transmission of data to monitor the condition of fellow American astronaut Shane Kimbrough’s spacesuit. The latter had to return to the station’s airlock and perform a reset before exiting. Meanwhile, Thomas Pesquet was waiting for him, his legs hanging from a robotic arm. The mission finally resumed, but a precious hour was lost. Then a technical problem also arose during the deployment of the solar panel which had to be installed by two people.

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Pesquet in space: harder than expected first walk

“Before the new panel can be deployed and begin supplying power to the orbiting laboratory, the astronauts need to plug and drive the power cables in the last two bolts to allow the solar panel to be fully deployed. will be required.”NASA said on its website. If they had some time left, both astronauts could take care of it. Otherwise, it would be necessary to consider a third spacewalk to complete the mission. If so, Thomas Pesquet would be equal to French astronaut Philippe Perrin in the number of spacewalks during a mission, which is currently three.

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