On February 28, 2021, NASA astronauts Kate Rubins (top right in red stripes) and Victor Glover will be working on the mast canister base of the Port 6 truss solar array at the International Space Station to provide support for new solar arrays that will be installed later this year. (Credit picture: NASA TV)
The International Space Station (ISS) has been set up for Sunday (Feb. 28), two spacewalkers astronauts have begun to battle hard bolts and start a major energy upgrade in the orbiting laboratory, for new solar arrays.
Kate Rubins and Victor Glover – the astronauts of NASA – worked more than 7 hours outside the station on the flights for the installation of modifications kits for new solar arrays. Expeditions 64 flight engineers They worked on the port side edge of the station to install a bracket and support the stones at the basis of the current solar wings of the outpost, but only one kit could be installed when assembling a second and stored later.
The building of upper support hardware was completed and secured for the outside structure of the space station until work could be finished on the next spacewalk on Friday, March 5," officials of NASA said during an update.
The ISS is now ready for the installation of new solar arrays, some of which have been around since 1998. NASA reports that the oldest panel set has been operating continuously since December 2000 and continues to do well despite its announced lifetime of 15 years. (In September 2006, June 2007, and March 2009 the remaining pairs were delivered.) But the arrays don't produce as much power as previously, so a number of spacewalks start.
The aim of the SpaceWalkers was the installation in a huge bag approximately 8 feet (2.5 meters) long and 1 foot (0.3 m) wide and deep, of new support structures for the 4B and 2B radio stations using solar arrays. Rubins and Glover have been using a special slingshot device to use crew security tethers far from the core of the ISS to carry out their tasks towards the right edge of the station.
"Unfortunately, this mod kit is very large and it doesn't suit the door as it stands," Spacewalk Officer Art Thomason said in Wednesday's news conference (Feb. 24). "Something like assembling furniture, we have to bring it out.
The crew members will have to be cautious and bring everything to the far ends of the spatial station, where solar panels are located. Thomason observed that the equipment is approximately 330 lb (150 kilograms).
"While we have no weight to handle in space, inertia and mass are still present here. The team knows how to take care, "He said. He said. "As they translate the bag, they will take it easy and make sure that things like these turn corners and help guide the bag because it is bigger than what they are used to."
Thomason said that the crew intended to install two struts in two workplaces near the solar arrays. On every site, a portable pedestal bracket and tethers were used to anchor before the left strut was installed, the right strut and the middle strut. In every strut, the astronauts were planning to secure thermal blankets. Rubins also brought on her spacesuit a new high-definition video camera, the first in U.S. spacewalks for clearer views.
The NASA officials wrote the update: "One of these bolts did not fully undertake this first attempt so Rubins used a power drill to back it and reseat it and use an assembly crush to tighten the bolt to ensure a secure configuration. "The bolt will likely have to be secured further before installing one of the new solar arrays which will be delivered on SpaceX's 22nd commercial service resupply mission later this year."
The astronauts then succeeded in assembling the top support for the second series of arrays, then secure it to their work site so that it could be installed on the next route on 5 March.
The Glover and Rubins fell behind schedule in practice, however, one of the first pins was not fully engaged.
On this next trip outside the station will Rubins and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who is scheduled to finish work started during today's spacewalk. A bunch of servicing tasks will also be included in the project: the release of ammonia, removal, and substitution of a wireless video transceiver, and the installation of a "stiffener" (when some residual air from the space station escapes into space.) Rubins are EV 1 and Noguchi EV 2 for this excursion.
The new array will boost the current level of power of the plant by 20 percent to 30 percent, bringing back the ISS to what had been available when the orbiting Lab was first built decades ago, says NASA. (Spacewalking crews have also been upgrading the older batteries to a new and more efficient version for about four years, finally completing the operation in January.)
The eight solar arrays which are in place provide approximately 160 kilowatts, of which half will be stored in the orbital darkness of the station, which is approximately 15 times a day. When the new solar arrays over the old arrays are in place, up to 215% should be added to the old arrays, depending on factors such as sunlight or darkness, by adding new array power.
As a result an epic spacewalk, which took place within a matter of days, was carried out by astronaut Scott Parazynski on top of the robotic arm of Canadarm2 and a repair space extension. Parazynski used orbiting tools to sew the tear into the fully powered array attentively. Parazynski's difficult work, his fellow crew, and ground controls enabled the damaged array to finish deploying in November. Today, the fix remains.
Source Space.com Video credits NASA