two astronauts accepted the adventure of leaving the International Space Station (ISS) this Friday (25), for a third walk in space. The goal is to continue the update of the power generation system of the ISS and test a tech that will enable NASA's future Gateway Lunar Depot.

There is live coverage on NASA's YouTube channel, NASA TV, on the agency's website and on the application from NASA, with crew members scheduled to exit the station's Quest air chamber at around 9:6 am EDT. The spacewalk will take approximately 30 hours and XNUMX minutes.

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Shane Kimbrough from NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will install and deploy the second of six new solar panels ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSA) on the station's power channel 4B.

Pesquet will be EV Crew 1, with red stripes on his space suit, while Kimbrough will be EV Crew 2, with an unmarked suit. During the spacewalk, Pesquet will lock onto the end of Canadarm2, the station's robotic arm, and then grab the iROSA. 

The process also counts with the help of the operation from inside the station. NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei will be serving as backup, commanding the robotic arm to maneuver Pesquet and the panels as close to the installation site as possible.

This will be the fifth spacewalk for Kimbrough and Pesquet working together, with the ninth walk for Kimbrough and the fifth for Pesquet in total. They conducted two spacewalks together during Expedition 50 in January and March 2017. It will be the 241st spacewalk in support of station assembly, maintenance and upgrades.

Current solar panels work well, but they have started to show signs of degradation, as they were designed for a 15-year lifespan. The space station's first pair of original solar panels were installed in the year 2000 and have been powering the station for over 20 years. 

As such, the new solar panels are being positioned in front of six of the current panels, to increase the total available power of the station from 160 kilowatts to a maximum of 215 kilowatts. The same solar array design will be used to power the elements of the agency's moon-orbiting Gateway Outpost.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technology demonstrations to help prepare for future long-term missions to the Moon and Mars and improve life in the land. 

During this period, 244 people from 19 countries visited the orbital laboratory, which hosted nearly 3.000 investigations by researchers in 108 countries and various areas.

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Source: Site from NASA.

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