NASA Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio completed their 7-hour, 11-minute spacewalk at 4:25 p.m. EST in preparation for the forthcoming solar array installation.
Cassada and Rubio achieved the majority of the principal objectives for today, which included assembling a mounting bracket on the station’s starboard truss assembly in preparation for the installation of a pair of International Space Station Rollout Solar Arrays (iROSAs).
The team finished routing cables on the 3A power channel and started installing a modification kit on the 1B power channel, which will serve as scaffolding for the new solar arrays. Some anticipated tasks linked with the completion of the modification kit, such as collar installation and cable routing for the 1B power channel, were postponed.
The remaining work will be finished during a future spacewalk before the solar arrays for the 1B power channel arrive, and no alterations are planned for the next two forthcoming US spacewalks.
It was the 254th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, modifications, and maintenance, and it was both astronauts’ first spacewalk.
Cassada and Rubio are currently on a six-month science mission aboard the microgravity laboratory, advancing scientific understanding and demonstrating new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions, including lunar trips through NASA’s Artemis program.
The next two US spacewalks are scheduled for November 29 and December 3. Two astronauts will install an iROSA for the 3A power channel on November 29, and two astronauts will install an iROSA for the 4A power channel on December 3.
These will be the third and fourth iROSAs to be installed out of a total of six. The iROSAs will boost power generation potential by up to 30%, bringing the station’s total usable output up to 215 kilowatts.
At 9:14 a.m. EST (6:14 a.m. PST), NASA Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio began a spacewalk to assemble a mounting bracket on the starboard side of the station’s truss assembly in preparation for the installation of a pair of International Space Station Rollout Solar Arrays on the space station.
The spacewalk officially began when the two switched to their suits’ battery power before exiting the airlock.