SpaceX launched Crew-2 astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the previously-flown Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft on April 23. Crew-2 is SpaceX’s third flight and the second operational mission out of six under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency (ESA) – arrived to the orbiting laboratory on April 24th, initiating their six-month Expedition 65 mission.
During their six-month-stay, the astronauts will conduct dozens of scientific experiments, research, and spacewalks to upgrade the Space Station’s power system. NASA flight engineer Shane Kimbrough and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will conduct a pair of spacewalks scheduled for Wednesday, June 16, and Sunday, June 20. During the spacewalks that could last up to 6-hours, the brave duo will install new solar arrays. “Kimbrough and Pesquet will exit the space station to install the first two of six ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs) to ultimately upgrade six of the station’s eight power channels,” the agency shared in a press release, “They will install the first array on the far end of the left (port) side of the station’s backbone truss structure (P6) to upgrade the 2B power channel. On Sunday, June 20, the duo will install the second solar array to upgrade the 4B power channel on the P6 truss.” Both, Pesquet and Kimbrough have worked together on two previous spacewalks in 2017. They partnered again for the iROSA installation. On Monday they prepared their spacesuits, pictured below.
NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet preparing their spacesuit at ISS./June 7, 2021/Image Source: NASA
The two iROSA arrays arrived to ISS aboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule’s unpressurized trunk as part of the 22nd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-22) mission for NASA which delivered over 7,300 pounds of cargo to the Station on June 3rd. Tomorrow, Thursday, June 10, operators at NASA’s Johnson Space Center Mission Control in Houston, Texas, will remotely control the Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2 to extract the solar arrays from Dragon's trunk to set the stage for the upcoming installation spacewalk. Meanwhile, Flight Engineer McArthur and Commander Hoshide are unloading the scientific experiments delivered Saturday aboard CRS-22 Dragon. The agency will discuss the upcoming spacewalks during a news conference at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, June 14. You can watch Live broadcast of the conference and spacewalks in the video below, courtesy of NASA TV.
NASA TV SCHEDULE
June 14, Monday
2:00 p.m. EDT– International Space Station Expedition 65 U.S. spacewalk # 74 and 75 preview briefing
June 16, Wednesday
6:30 a.m. EDT– Coverage of International Space Station Expedition 65 U.S. spacewalk # 74 to install the first IROSA solar array on the P6 Truss for the 2B Channel Power System; spacewalk scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. EDT and will last 6 ½ hours with Pesquet and Kimbrough
June 20, Sunday
6:30 a.m. EDT– Coverage of International Space Station Expedition 65 U.S. spacewalk # 75 to install the second IROSA solar array on the P6 Truss for the 4B Channel Power System; spacewalk scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. EDT and will last 6 ½ hours with Pesquet and Kimbrough
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: NASA