Two NASA astronauts have conducted over seven-hour long spacewalk outside the International Space Station. They are Kate Rubins and Victor Glover. Both the astronauts conducted this spacewalk to upgrade the International Space Station. They installed modified kits for the solar array upgrades. The space agency said that their spacewalk lasted for 7 hours and 4 minutes. They successfully installed the kits. This was the third spacewalk of 2021 outside the rotating laboratory. NASA statement said that Kate and Victor worked near the farthest set of solar arrays. The arrays are located on the left side of the ISS. It is known as P6.
The agency said that Victor built a bracket structure. The two then attach the bracket to the base 2B. 2B is one of the P6 solar arrays on the left side of ISS. However, one bolt couldn’t fully engage. Kate then used a power drill. This helped him to back it out and restore it. He tightened the bolt using a ratchet wrench. The bolt reached a secured configuration. The bolt will be needed in the future before astronauts install one of the new solar arrays. The new solar arrays will arrive at the ISS this year. NASA said that it will be sent aboard a SpaceX spacecraft. The private aerospace company is preparing to launch the 22nd commercial resupply services mission. It will be launched in May.
Kare and Victor then started identical assembly work for 4B. 4Bis second pair of P6 solar array. The construction of upper support hardware was safely completed. They secured it to the ISS’s exterior. It will remain attached there until the work can be finished. The next spacewalk is slated for March 5. The next spacewalk will be performed by Kate and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They will complete the 4B array modification kit’s installation. NASA said that they will also look to deal with additional work. The International Space Station was launched in 1998. It orbits 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. Its maintenance cost has gone up significantly in the last few years. By 2025, the cost of maintenance could be around USD 198 million.