NASA astronauts conduct first of 2 March spacewalks

This marks first-ever spacewalk of astronaut Raja Chari’s career

This Dec. 6, 2021 photo provided by NASA shows the International Space Station orbited 264 miles above the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship docked to the Rassvet module and the Prichal module, still attached to the Progress delivery craft, docked to the Nauka multipurpose module. The former head of the National Space Council tells The Associated Press, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, that tensions in eastern Ukraine and heightened Western fears of a Russian invasion should not have a significant impact on the International Space Station or U.S.-Russia cooperation in space. (NASA via AP) (Uncredited)

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.

About the Author:

Katrina Scales is a producer for the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m. She also writes and voices the podcast Your Florida Daily. Katrina was born and raised in Brevard County and started her journalism career in radio before joining News 6 in June 2021.