Power Leap: NASA Spacewalkers Successfully Install New Solar Array on ISS

Astronaut Woody Hoburg IROSA Deployment

Astronaut Woody Hoburg watches as a new roll-out solar array deploys after he and fellow NASA spacewalker Stephen Bowen (out of frame) successfully installed it on the space station. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg successfully completed a spacewalk to install a new solar array (IROSA) on the ISS, improving its power generation by 30%. The pair also prepared for a forthcoming installation of another IROSA, marking their third spacewalk in the ongoing science mission.

Expedition 69 Flight Engineers Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 3:28 p.m. EDT after 6 hours and 3 minutes.

Bowen and Hoburg completed all of their objectives to install an IROSA (International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array) to augment power generation for the 1A power channel on the station’s starboard truss structure. The crew members also completed several get-ahead tasks setting the stage for the duo to go back outside Thursday, June 15, to install the sixth in the series of IROSAs on the starboard 6 truss of the station for the 1B power channel.

The new arrays are 60 feet long by 20 feet wide (18.2 meters by 6 meters) and will shade a little more than half of the original arrays, which are 112 feet long by 39 feet wide. Each new IROSA will produce more than 20 kilowatts of electricity, and once all are installed, will enable a 30% increase in power production over the station’s current arrays.

It was the 264th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades, and maintenance, and was the third spacewalk for both astronauts.

Bowen and Hoburg are in the midst of a 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.

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