This week, two astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) will be performing a spacewalk outside the station to install hardware ready for new solar panels to be added as part of the station’s ongoing power system upgrade. NASA will be livestreaming the event, so you can watch the entire thing online.
We’ve got the details on what the spacewalk will involve and how you can watch along live from home.
Two NASA astronauts, Kayla Barron and Raja Chari, will be participating in the spacewalk which has been designated U.S. EVA 79. They will be performing more work on the ongoing upgrade of the station’s power system. On this particular spacewalk, they will be installing brackets and struts so that more new solar arrays can be installed outside of the space station in the future.
Last year, the second of six solar arrays was installed as part of the multi-year upgrade to the station’s existing solar panels. Some of these older panels are twenty years old, so they are being replaced with smaller and more efficient panels called ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs). Four more iROSAa will be delivered to the space station for future installation, but before that can happen the station crew needs to prepare for their installation by adding brackets and other fixtures to the outside of the station.
As well as the spacewalk on Tuesday this week, there will be another spacewalk the week after on Wednesday, March 23, when two astronauts (who have not yet been selected from the crew) will install hoses onto a module of the station’s cooling system as well as upgrading other pieces of station hardware.
The entire of Tuesday’s spacewalk will be livestreamed on NASA TV. You can watch along at home either by heading to NASA’s website or by using the video embedded at the top of this page.
Coverage of the spacewalk begins at 6:30 a.m. ET (3:30 a.m. PT) on Tuesday, March 15. The spacewalk itself is scheduled to begin at 8:05 a.m. ET (5:05 a.m. PT) and is scheduled to last for approximately six and a half hours.
If you’d like to learn more about the spacewalk and the work that the astronauts will be performing, you can tune into NASA’s news conference the day before as well. The briefing will be livestreamed on Monday, March 14 at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT).
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