French astronaut Thomas Pesquet began a new spacewalk on Sunday, in order to complete the installation with his American teammate Shane Kimbrough of new solar panels, intended to increase the energy production capacities of the Space Station international (ISS).
This is Thomas Pesquet’s fourth spacewalk, and the second during this mission.
At 11:42 GMT, the two men activated the internal battery of their suit, then opened the hatch of the decompression chamber of the ISS.
Thomas Pesquet came out into the void first, followed by his team-mate.
“Spacewalk, episode 2, Another long but incredible day awaits us with Shane Kimbrough”, tweeted the French a few hours before the start of this mission.
The latter is intended to install six new generation solar panels, called iROSA, on the ISS.
Wednesday, the two “mechanics” had started installing the first. But the mission had been troubled by several setbacks, including concerns about Shane Kimbrough’s suit.
“We are going to return to the vacuum of space to finish the work of the 1st exit (deployment of the 1st solar panel) and to install the 2nd”, detailed Thomas Pesquet on social networks.
This is the fourth time that the two astronauts have floated together in zero gravity, having already carried out two side-by-side spacewalks in 2017, clinging to the Space Station spinning 400 kilometers above Earth, and one on Wednesday .
This is the 240th spacewalk in the history of the ISS.