The US space agency (NASA) announced, on Wednesday, three new spacewalks that will start next Tuesday at the International Space Station (ISS) to install solar panels and other work involving two Russians, an American and a Japanese.
Japan’s Akihiko Hoshed and American Mark Vande Hai will take charge of the first day, Tuesday, with the goal of modernizing the solar power system with a total of six solar panels.
Meanwhile, in the Russian part of the Microgravity Laboratory, cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dobrovalstan are preparing for the next two walks, with as-yet-unspecified dates in early September.
Seven Expedition 65 crew members are preparing for the three spacewalks, while three will provide support to the infantry.
On the first spacewalk on August 24, Commander Hoshed and flight engineer Vande Hee will spend approximately 6 hours and 50 minutes configuring the Port 4 (P4) structure for the future Roll-Out Solar Array project.
They will install a mod kit in P4 that will prepare the site for the third of the six solar panels.
Meanwhile, aerospace engineers Megan MacArthur and Thomas Pesquet on Wednesday reviewed spacewalk support functions, including controlling a Canadarm2 robotic arm and helping the duo put on and take off US spacesuits.
For his part, aerospace engineer Shane Kimbrough also spent several hours today assembling a solar panel modification kit that Hoshide and Vande Hei will install next week.
NASA plans to complete the installation of a total of six solar panels this year or early 2022, at a cost of $103 million.
These panels are 20 by 63 feet (6 by 19 meters) in size and with their operation, the improved system will save the plant approximately 215,000 kilowatts of power.
Across the station in the Russian part, cosmonauts Novitsky and Dubrov are preparing for two of their spacewalks.
They continued to organize spacewalk tools and equipment in the airlock of the Poisk unit.
The duo will leave Poisk for both expeditions and the preparation of the Nauka multipurpose laboratory unit for scientific operations.
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