Thomas Pesquet returns to station after his spacewalk

Washington, United States | AFP | SUNDAY 20/06/2021 – French astronaut Thomas Pesquet on Sunday returned safely to the interior of the International Space Station (ISS) after another spacewalk of more than six hours, dedicated to the installation of new solar panels on the ISS .

This is Thomas Pesquet’s fourth spacewalk, and the second on this mission, conducted with his American partner, Shane Kimbrough.

At 11:42 GMT, two men who arrived at the station in late April activated the internal batteries of their suits, then opened the hatch of the ISS decompression chamber.

Thomas Pesquet, first went into the void, followed by his teammate.

During 6:28, the astronauts finished positioning, fixing, connecting and deploying the first new generation solar panel 19 meters long, and began installing the second.

Called IROSA, these solar panels are believed to boost the power generation capabilities of the ISS and were delivered by the SpaceX freighter.

“Today’s spacewalk by Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet officially ended at 2:10 p.m.” (6:10 p.m. GMT), NASA reported.

Two “mechanics” began installing the first solar panels on Wednesday. But the mission was plagued by a number of setbacks, including the concern of Shane Kimbrough’s trial.

“We are going to return to the vacuum of space to finish the work of the 1st exit (deployment of the first solar panel) and install the second”, elaborated Thomas Pesquet on the social network on Sunday morning, ‘happy at the prospect of Hui’ an “incredible day”.

NASA is planning a new spacewalk for the two to complete the installation of the second solar panel on June 25.

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Thomas Pesquet now counts 26 hours and 15 minutes spent in spacewalks.

It is the fourth time that two astronauts have floated together in zero gravity, clinging to the space station hovering 400 kilometers above Earth, having already done two spacewalks together in 2017 and one on Wednesday.

This is the 240th spacewalk in the history of the ISS.

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