Two astronauts spent six hours outside the International Space Station yesterday. They installed solar panels, which are necessary to provide the ISS with sufficient electricity. “Good work, both of you,” NASA’s mission control on Earth reported when the operation was completed. “That was great to see.”
French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and American astronaut Shane Kimbrough left the ISS yesterday. Over six hours later, they returned and the job was done. The two installed solar panels, which mission was to be followed live on television.
“Happy Father’s Day to everyone with children,” said Kimbrough, who has three children of her own. “Thank you for helping us on a Sunday.” The panels should have been installed last Wednesday, but the team ran into technical problems.
Roll-out solar panels
The 19-meter-long deployable solar panels were delivered to the space station earlier this month on an unmanned SpaceX rocket. The panels should provide the ISS with sufficient electricity to carry out more experiments and receive tourists in the coming years. The solar panels have an expected lifespan of fifteen years.
All in all, nearly 250 missions have been conducted outside the ISS to maintain or renew the space station. The astronauts are chained to the space station during these missions.
See also: how astronauts Bob and Doug arrived at the ISS last year