The International Space Station originally planned to install new solar panels for the first time on the 16th, but the two astronauts out of the capsule delayed a lot of time due to malfunctions and eventually failed to install the new panels as planned.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and American astronaut Shane Kimbro started a spacewalk at 8 o’clock on the 16th Eastern Daylight Time. The main mission is to install two new solar panels. However, the two had trouble installing the first new battery panel.
Approximately 3 hours after the spacewalk, the data display unit of the Jimburo spacesuit prompted a failure. He had to return to the cabin to restart the system, and then continue to exit the cabin to perform the mission. Later, the pressure reading of his spacesuit temperature control system increased, and he had to suspend the mission. After analyzing and processing by the ground personnel, he continued the spacewalk, but it delayed a lot of time.
When two people move the solar panel to the fixed bracket, the solar panel cannot be aligned with the bracket when it is opened. Because of limited time, they could not complete the final process, which is to install the cables and the final two bolts. They had to take photos for evaluation by the personnel on the ground. Later, they refolded the battery panels according to the instructions of the personnel on the ground, “fixed in a safe position”, and left it in space for the future. Handle while walking.
The spacewalk continued for approximately 7 hours and 15 minutes. The two astronauts are scheduled to go out of the cabin and upgrade to the solar panel system on the 20th.
According to Agence France-Presse, in order to avoid working when the solar panels are generating electricity, astronauts need to start their actions after the space station enters the shadow of the earth. At that time, the space station will be powered by batteries, and the safety hazard of astronauts installing new solar panels is reduced. . Before the cabin, Kimbro said that the installation of the new battery panel is “very challenging and very complicated, and we must ensure that each action of the two is synchronized.”
There are currently 8 solar panels on the International Space Station, with an initial life expectancy of 15 years. Among them, the top pair of panels has been working for more than 20 years. Because of long-term exposure to the space environment, these panels show signs of aging. The engineer plans to upgrade to the solar panel system this year and install 6 new panels. The new battery panels arrived at the space station on the 5th of this month. They are lighter, smaller and more powerful than the old ones. They look like yoga mats when folded, each 3 meters wide and 340 kg in weight. If fully opened, each new battery panel is about 19 meters long and 6 meters wide. According to CNN, the new battery panel will be installed in front of the old battery panel, which is expected to increase the total available power of the space station from 160 kilowatts to 215 kilowatts. The life expectancy of the new board is also about 15 years