This Wednesday, June 16 and Sunday, June 20 will be very difficult for Thomas Pesquet, who will have to make his first flight from the International Space Station (ISS) since his arrival on April 23. Its mission: to install new solar panels. “I’m like an electrician on the International Space Station”, Before his departure, French outlined with humor what role he was going to play during these exits. In 2017, during his first mission to space, he actually installed new lithium-ion batteries on the outside of the station. He was already accompanied by American Shane Kimbrough.
A live to follow Wednesday 16 June
The two men will reunite during two spacewalks on June 16 and 20. These two outings of approximately 6.30 hours will enable the first two of the six solar panels to be deployed within two years to supply the ISS by 2030. The station, at an altitude of 400 km, is now supplied with electricity by eight solar panels with a total area of 2,500 m, which produce 160 kW. “Current solar panels are performing well but have begun to show signs of degradation as expected as they were designed to have a 15-year lifespan, NASA said in a press release. The space station’s first pair of solar panels were deployed in December 2000 and have operated the station for more than 20 years.”. The station will get 215 kW of electricity from the new facility. The energy thus generated, when illuminated by the Sun, is stored in a battery to be used when it is on the “night” side of the Earth.
LIVE begins here this Wednesday, June 16 at 12:30PM. Astronauts must leave the station at 2 pm:
Third and Fourth Spacewalks for Thomas Pesquet
The two new instruments were delivered by the Dragon cargo vessel, which docked at the station on 5 June. The Canadarm2 articulated arm would be controlled from inside the station by American Megan MacArthur to handle the panels, which were carried as they rolled on themselves. When deployed, they will measure 19 meters long and six meters wide. Thomas Pesquet can be recognized by the red stripes on his spacesuit. These outings will be the seventh and eighth for the American and the third and fourth for the French.