Two astronauts exited the International Space Station’s airlock on Tuesday on a nearly 7-hour spacewalk to continue the years-long process of modernizing the on-orbit laboratory’s power grid.
NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron exited the airlock at 8:12 a.m. ET to assemble and install modification kits to support solar array upgrades on the station. The kits will support the second pair of six ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSA). The iROSAs are part of a plan to upgrade the ISS’ power system over the next year and a half.
During a spacewalk in June, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet unrolled the first two iROSAs outside of the space station. The solar arrays roll up like a carpet for launch, then roll out again when released in space.
Barron and Chari spent about 6 hours and 54 minutes outside the ISS on Tuesday for the installation. Barron could be identified on NASA television because she was wearing a red-striped suit. Chari’s suit had no stripes.
The duo completed their work in the vacuum of space at 3:06 p.m
Barron and Chari are part of NASA’s 2017 class of astronauts, nicknamed the Turtles. Barron posted on Instagram on Monday, saying after “4.5 years of training and working together [Chari] and I feel ready and excited for the first all-turtle spacewalk!”
The spacewalk was Barron’s second and Chari’s first.
Tuesday’s spacewalk is one of two scheduled this month, and a second will be conducted on March 23.
Next week, astronauts will install tubing outside of the ISS to keep the station’s systems at the proper temperature, install a power and data cable on the Columbus module’s science platform, and replace a camera on the station’s truss.
For the March 23 spacewalk, NASA executives said the astronauts would be assigned after Tuesday’s EVA was completed.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/17/spacewalking-astronauts-take-another-step-toward-upgrading-iss-power-system/ Spacewalking astronauts take another step towards upgrading the ISS power system