US Astronauts Take Spacewalk To Prepare ISS For Installation Of New Solar Panels - NASA

US Astronauts Take Spacewalk to Prepare ISS for Installation of New Solar Panels - NASA

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 28th February, 2021) US astronauts Kathleen Rubins and Victor Glove have started a scheduled spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS) to install modification kits for new solar panels, NASA said on Sunday.

"Today's spacewalk is officially underway! At 6:12am ET [11:12 GMT], @NASA_Astronauts Kate Rubins & @AstroVicGlover switched their spacesuits to battery power. They'll work outside the @Space_Station for about 6.5 hours today to prepare for upcoming station solar array upgrades," NASA wrote on Twitter.

According to NASA, the current solar panels operate normally, but their 15-year service life expired some six years ago. New solar panels will increase the station's power capacity from 160 KW to 215 KW.

Rubins and Glover are members of the 64th and current expedition to the ISS that started on October 21. The expedition also includes Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, as well as US astronauts Shannon Walker and Mike Hopkins, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi.