06 March 2021 Saturday – 17:40 | Last Updated: 06 03 2021 – 17:40
Astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) went on a spacewalk to prepare the station for the installation of solar panels, which are expected to be sent in June, which will increase the station’s power capacity by 30 percent.
Rubins and Soichi will replace old bolts with new ones, fix loose ones, and install brackets and support braces in the slots where the solar panels will be fitted for ease of installation.
NASA aims to increase the energy capacity of the station by 30 percent, enough for more astronauts and equipment, as the energy need will increase with the crew that SpaceX and Boeing will send this year.
It is stated that the existing 8 solar panels, the oldest of which was installed 20 years ago, deteriorated over time, and the new advanced solar panels produced by Boeing will be sent to the space station by SpaceX.
It was reported that this walk was the last experience of the two astronauts, whose 6-month duties will end soon.
Rubins is expected to return to Earth in a Russian capsule with two Russian cosmonauts in mid-April, while Soichi is expected to return to Earth with Victor Glover and two other Nasa astronauts in April or May at the latest.