Astronauts finish installing a collapsible solar array on a record-setting spacewalk

A view of the new solar array that emerged after NASA astronauts Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg successfully installed it on Energy Channel 1B on June 15, 2023. Credit: NASA TV

International Space Station during a 5-hour spacewalk, boosting power production. This marked Bowen’s tenth spacewalk, tying the record for most U.S. spacewalks.

Expedition 69 Flight Engineers Woody Hoburg and Steve Bowen of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 2:17 p.m. EDT (11:17 a.m. PDT) after 5 hours and 35 minutes. The spacewalk began at 8:42 a.m. EDT.

Hoburg and Bowen completed their major objective to install an IROSA (International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array) to augment power generation for the 1B power channel on the station’s starboard truss structure.

The new array is 60 feet long by 20 feet wide (18.2 meters by 6 meters) and is shading a little more than half of the original array, which is 112 feet long by 39 feet wide. Each new IROSA produces more than 20 kilowatts of electricity and together enable a 30% increase in power production over the station’s current arrays.

Spacewalker Woody Hoburg Rides the Canadarm2 Robotic Arm

NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg rides the Canadarm2 robotic arm while maneuvering a roll-out solar array toward the International Space Station’s truss structure 257 miles above the Pacific Ocean. In the rear, is the SpaceX Dragon crew vehicle that docked to the Harmony module’s forward port on March 3 carrying four SpaceX Crew-6 crew members. Credit: NASA

NASA and Boeing have a plan in place for a fourth set of roll-out arrays to further augment the International Space Station’s power supply. These arrays, which would be the seventh and eighth installed on space station, are targeted for delivery to the orbital outpost in 2025.

It was the 265th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades, and maintenance. The spacewalk marked the second for Hoburg and tenth for Bowen, tying him for the most spacewalks by a U.S. astronaut along with Mike Lopez-Alegria, Bob Behnken, Peggy Whitson, and Chris Cassidy.

Hoburg and Bowen are in the midst of a science mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions, including lunar missions through NASA’s Artemis program.

See also  150-million-year-old vomit found in Utah offers 'rare glimpse' of prehistoric ecosystems

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *