ORLANDO, Fla. – A 6-hour spacewalk to install solar power equipment outside the International Space Station got underway Tuesday morning.
It’s the first two spacewalks set for this month designed to lay the framework for upcoming solar array upgrades that will extend the space station’s lifetime into its planned retirement in 2030.
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NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari are scheduled to step outside the orbiting lab at 8:05 a.m., NASA says.
This will be the first-ever spacewalk of Chari’s career and Barron’s second.
The pair are installing brackets and struts to support the future installation of an ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA), NASA says.
“So far, two of six iROSAs have been deployed on station with four additional arrays to be delivered. The arrays will ultimately augment six of the station’s eight power channels, increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts,” according to a NASA release.
Another spacewalk is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23, to continue adding upgrades.