NASA has announced that its astronauts John Cassada and Frank Rubio have completed their spacewalk which lasted for 7 hours and 5 minutes. The duo of Expedition 68 Flight Engineers completed their major objectives.
John Cassada and Frank Rubio installed an International Space Station (ISS) Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) to augment power generation for the 3A power channel on the station’s starboard truss structure. They also disconnected a cable to ensure the 1B channel can be reactivated after it was shut down due to a power trip in its electrical system. The disconnection of the cable will isolate the affected portion of the array and restore the channel to 75% of its normal operating capacity.
In addition, the pair also accomplished an additional task to release numerous bolts for the upcoming iROSA installation on the 4A power channel at the port truss.
It was the 256th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades, and maintenance, besides being the second spacewalk for both astronauts. The astronaut pair planned a six-month science mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions, including lunar missions through NASA’s Artemis program.
The next U.S. spacewalk is planned for December 19, to install an iROSA on the 4A power channel on the port truss. This will be the fourth iROSAs out of a total of six planned for installation.
The iROSAs will increase power generation capability by up to 30%, snowballing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.