NASA has scheduled two more spacewalks on November 29 and December 3.
Two astronauts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration completed almost a seven-hour-long spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Tuesday. This is the first walk outside the ISS in eight months.
NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio finished the planned walk at 4:25 p.m. EST (approximately 2:55 a.m. IST) after 7 hours and 11. It was the first spacewalk of their careers. Both the astronauts completed the majority of the primary objectives that was “to assemble a mounting bracket on the starboard side of the station’s truss assembly in preparation for the installation of a pair of International Space Station Rollout Solar Arrays (iROSAs),” NASA wrote in a blog.
The crew deferred some planned tasks associated with the completion of the modification kit. The remaining tasks will be completed during a future walk before the arrival of the solar arrays for the 1B power channel. There are no changes planned for the next two upcoming U.S. spacewalks.
Furthermore, this was the 254th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades, and maintenance, and the 9th space station spacewalk in 2022. The total time over the 254 walks in space equals 71 days, zero hours, and 48 minutes. NASA has scheduled two more spacewalks on November 29 and December 3.
“On Nov. 29, two astronauts will install an iROSA for the 3A power channel, and on Dec. 3 a pair of astronauts will install an iROSA on the port truss for the 4A power channel,” NASA said. “These will be the third and fourth iROSAs out of a total six planned for installation. The iROSAs will increase power generation capability by up to 30%, increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.”
In October, NASA announced to resume spacewalks outside of the ISS after the completion of a flight readiness review. These were suspended since March 23 after a thin layer of moisture was discovered inside the European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer’s helmet. NASA later declared the event a “close call” and immediately halted all future planned walks until the case was investigated.