Space Station Power Upgrade: Spacewalkers Complete Construction Job
NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata concluded their spacewalk at 2:26 p.m. EST after six hours and 41 minutes.
Mann and Wakata completed their major objective for today, which was to complete the construction of a mounting platform on the 1A power channel that was started during a spacewalk on January 20. In addition, they relocated an articulating portable foot restraint from the P6 truss for future spacewalk tasks and deployed cables for the installation of the next pair of International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs).
The installation was part of a series of spacewalks to augment the station’s power channels with new iROSAs. Four iROSAs have been installed so far, and two additional arrays will be mounted to the installed platforms during future spacewalks following their arrival later this year on SpaceX’s 28th commercial resupply services mission for NASA.
It was the 259th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades, and maintenance, the second spacewalk of 2023, and the second spacewalk for both astronauts.
Mann and Wakata are in the midst of a planned six-month science mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions, including to the Moon through NASA’s Artemis missions.