For the second time this week, astronaut Thomas Bisquet left the airlock on the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday as part of an extravehicular activity (EVA). He returned safely to the International Space Station at 8:10 p.m., after more than six hours in space.
This is Thomas Bisquet’s fourth spaceflight, led by fellow American Shane Kimbrough. At 1:42 p.m., he and Shane Kimbrough powered up their suit’s internal battery, then opened the hatch of the International Space Station’s decompression chamber. The French astronaut was the first to cross the airlock.
Objective: to install solar panels
This was the 240th flight in the history of the International Space Station. Like last Wednesday, today’s goal, for the two astronauts, was to install the latest generation of solar panels outside the International Space Station, in order to increase its energy production capacity.
During 6:28 am, the astronauts finished positioning, installing, wiring, and deploying the first new generation solar panels, 19 meters long, and began installing a second. The Mechanics began installing the first solar panel on Wednesday. But the expedition was troubled by several setbacks, including concerns about Shane Kimbrough’s suit.
After an intermittent assignment on Wednesday
NASA teams noticed an outage in the data transmission to check the condition of his suit, as well as a sudden rise in pressure in his cooling system.
Shane Kimbrough should have gone back to the station’s airlock and reset it. Then the astronauts moved the solar panel, folded on itself into a large roll weighing about 350 kilograms, to the place where it was to be installed. They secured it and tried to unravel it, but a compatibility issue interfered with the mechanism, preventing it from appearing.
New release on June 25
NASA is planning a new spacewalk on Friday, June 25, until the duo complete the installation of a second solar panel. Thomas Pesquet now counts 26 hours and 15 minutes spent in spacewalks.