Nasa, Japanese astronauts to lead the fourth spacewalk to install new solar panels on ageing Space Station

Nasa, Japanese astronauts to lead the fourth spacewalk to install new solar panels on ageing Space Station

Weeks after the International Space Station went through a significant accident, two astronauts will branch out of its airlock to install a help bracket for the installation of the third new solar panel. The spacewalk will occur on August 24 near the station’s pressurized living space.

The spacewalk will be led by Nasa astronaut Mark Vande Hei and astronaut Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, who will install a support bracket, called a modification kit. The kit readies the site for future installation and deployment of the third of the six new International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSA).

The solar arrays are being installed to help the power abilities of the ageing flying station as astronauts work to upgrade one of the station’s eight power channels known as 4A, which gives partial power to the US Laboratory, the Harmony module, and the Columbus module.

Nasa in a statement said that the astronauts will likewise supplant a gadget that actions the electrical charging potential of the arrays. During the spacewalk, Hoshide will serve as extravehicular crew member one (EV1) and Vande Hei will be extravehicular crew member two (EV2).

The August 24 proposed spacewalk follows three other recent ones to install the first pair of new iROSA arrays, when on June 16, Kimbrough and Pesquet moved the first to a mounting bracket and finished the installation in the second spacewalk on June 20. The astronauts sent the second of the six new arrays in a spacewalk on June 25.

The installation of the solar arrays comes in the midst of the debasement of the first pair of arrays installed back in 2000, intended for 15-year service life. “When all six of the new arrays are in place, the station’s total available power will increase from 160 kilowatts to a maximum of 215. The same roll-out solar array design will be used to power elements of Gateway, a new lunar-orbiting outpost in development by Nasa’s commercial and international partners,” Nasa said.

In the mean time, astronauts are studying the effect of the error that caused the International Space Station to turn out of its normal orientation last month. The disaster happened when Thrusters on Russia’s Nauka laboratory module fired shortly after the module showed up at the International Space Station, making the orbiting station gradually turn around one-and-a-half revolutions.

Russia’s mission controllers then, at that point fired thrusters on another Russian module and a Russian cargo ship connected to the space station to stop rotation and afterward push the station back to its ordinary position. Both US and Russian space authorities said the station’s seven-person team wasn’t in danger during the incident.

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