France Press agency , Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 9:14 PM
French astronaut Thomas Pesquet returned safely to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday after another walk in space that lasted more than six hours, dedicated to installing new solar panels on the International Space Station.
This is Thomas Bisquet’s fourth space flight, and the second in this mission, that he conducted with fellow American Shane Kimbrough.
At 11:42 GMT, the two men, who arrived aboard the station at the end of April, activated the internal battery of their suits, and then opened the hatch of the International Space Station’s decompression chamber.
Thomas Bisquet, out into the void first, was followed by his teammate.
During 6:28 am, the astronauts finished positioning, installing, wiring, and deploying the first new generation solar panels, 19 meters long, and began installing a second.
These solar panels, called iROSA, are believed to enhance the power generation capabilities of the International Space Station and were delivered by a SpaceX cargo ship.
NASA reports that “today’s spacewalk by Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet officially ended at 2:10 p.m.” (6:10 p.m. GMT).
The Mechanics began installing the first solar panel on Wednesday. But the expedition was troubled by several setbacks, including concerns about Shane Kimbrough’s suit.
“We will return to the void of space to finish the work of the first director (deploying the first solar panel) and install the second,” Thomas Pesquet had detailed on social networks Sunday morning, beaming at the prospect of a ‘wonderful day.
NASA is planning a new spacewalk on June 25 so that the duo can complete the installation of a second solar panel.
Thomas Pesquet now counts 26 hours and 15 minutes spent in spacewalks.
This is the fourth time the two astronauts have floated together in zero gravity, clinging to the space station orbiting 400 kilometers above Earth, after they have already carried out two side-by-side spacewalks in 2017, and one on Wednesday.
This is the 240th flight in the history of the International Space Station.
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