Two astronauts on the International Space Station successfully completed a spacewalk on Wednesday, June 16. NASA’s Shane Kimbrough worked on the exterior of the orbiting outpost with Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency.
The spacewalk lasted 7 hours and 15 minutes, with the pair finishing up at 3:26 p.m. ET. The seventh spacewalk of the year involved the installation of a new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) as part of ongoing efforts to upgrade the space station’s power system.
A short while after the spacewalk’s conclusion, NASA posted a three-minute video (below) showing highlights from Wednesday’s event.
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) June 17, 2021
Before the new array can start providing the ISS with power, additional work needs to be performed such as the installation of electrical cables and the placement of a couple of bolts that will allow the solar array to unfurl.
“NASA is augmenting six of the eight existing power channels of the space station with new solar arrays to ensure a sufficient power supply is maintained for NASA’s exploration technology demonstrations for Artemis and beyond as well as utilization and commercialization,” the space agency said on Wednesday’s.
This week’s spacewalk was the seventh for Kimbrough and the third for Pesquet, and also the third they’ve performed together following two others in 2017. Kimbrough has now spent a total of 46 hours and 15 minutes spacewalking, and Pesquet 19 hours and 47 minutes.
The two astronauts are scheduled for another spacewalk this Sunday, June 20, during which they will continue installing the solar array.
If the highlights reel leaves you wanting to see more, NASA has posted the entire spacewalk on its YouTube channel. And while you’re here, take a moment to enjoy these dramatic images captured during spacewalks from over the years.
- NASA’s record-breaking astronaut arrives home safely
- Space station’s new robotic arm springs to life
- Watch SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronauts arrive at new home in space
- Watch how space station astronauts get ready for bed
- Watch the splashdown of NASA’s first private ISS mission