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Extravehicular astronauts install new solar panels – NBC New York

Extravehicular astronauts equipped the International Space Station with the first of a series of powerful new solar panels on Sunday to overcome suit problems and other muscle and tenacity obstacles.

Two extravehicular activities were required for French astronaut Thomas Pesque and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbro to install the panel and extend it to a total length of 63 feet (19 meters).

When the final set of bolts was released, solar energy unfolded like a red carpet and relied solely on stored energy. The slow but steady extension took 10 minutes, and the station camera provided live television.

“It’s beautiful,” exclaimed Peske.

“Both of us did well,” Mission Control replied that the operation was complete. “It was nice to see.”

Astronauts began extravehicular activity on Sunday from a break on Wednesday when a series of problems prevented the deployment of high-tech solar panels.

“Remember: you are a butterfly with a biceps today,” astronaut Megan MacArthur rang the radio from the inside.

After pushing and pulling, the spacewalker managed to unfold and align the solar panels so that both halves were end-to-end, like a roll of paper towels. Their “Uhu!” Cry was applauded in mission control.

The two had to wait until they returned to the night side of the Earth — and the old solar panels at the station no longer absorb and generate electricity — before making the final power connection. Otherwise, they can be shocked.

While waiting for the darkness, Kimbro’s helmet camera and light assembly loosened, even though he switched to another suit to avoid the trouble he encountered last time. Peske did his best to secure it with a wire tie as the minutes passed by. His efforts paid off and the final step, the actual deployment, went smoothly.

There are five more of this new solar wing, but it provides the very necessary electrical boost for aging stations as the demand for experimentation and space travelers grows.

NASA initially assigned two EVAs to this task. One for each solar panel installed. However, considering all previous issues, the manager added a third EVA. Peske and Kimbro will return on Friday to complete the work on the second panel provided by SpaceX earlier this month.

This first pair reinforces the oldest solar wing on the space station. The Solar Wing has deteriorated after 20 years of continuous operation.

SpaceX will offer two more pairs during the next year.

Although smaller than the original, Boeing’s new solar panels can generate quite a bit of electricity. If NASA wants to keep the space station up and running for the rest of the last decade, the space station will need this revitalization and individual guests will pay millions of dollars to board.

A Russian film crew will be launched from Kazakhstan to an orbiting outpost this fall, followed by a series of wealthy businessmen. SpaceX offers rides from Cape Canaveral.

On Wednesday, the display control panel on Kimbro’s suit went out and he had to go back to the airlock to reset it. After that, his cooling system recorded a momentary pressure spike. Engineers are still evaluating what went wrong.

“Space is difficult,” Kimbro tweeted last week.

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The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Extravehicular astronauts install new solar panels – NBC New York

Source link Extravehicular astronauts install new solar panels – NBC New York

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