French astronaut Thomas Pesquet began his third spacewalk Friday in just over a week, completing the installation of a new solar panel outside the International Space Station.
As for the previous two flights, this mission is carried out by the American astronaut Shane Kimbrough, and again is supposed to last about six and a half hours.
“It’s common for them to follow each other so quickly (we’re improving the preparation of wetsuits), and on the other hand, it’s rare to do the same with the same person,” Thomas Pesquet explained on Instagram.
He and Shane Kimbrough had previously conducted two spacewalks side by side in 2017.
In total, this is the Frenchman’s fifth spacewalk.
As the French astronaut tweeted a few hours before he jumped into the void: “No matter how many times you get out of the space station, it never becomes a routine.” “Everyone is fully focused on the third game.”
The two teammates powered up the internal battery of their suit at 11:52 GMT, marking the official start of their mission.
Arriving aboard the International Space Station at the end of April, only two spacewalks were initially scheduled, but this third mission had to be added after a series of accumulated setbacks during the first.
A little over a week ago, the “mechanics” were unable to complete the installation of the first solar panel as planned. During their second run on Sunday, they had to finish posting, and they started landing again, which they must finish on Friday.
These 19-meter solar panels, called iROSA, are intended to increase the power generation capabilities of the International Space Station.