Future SpaceExpedition 68 astronauts Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will step outside the International Space Station for a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk to conduct preparation work for upcoming solar array upgrades for the station’s 1A and 1B power channels. The current solar arrays which were designed for a 15-year service life are functioning well, but have begun to show signs of degradation, as expected. The first pair of solar arrays were deployed in December 2000 and have been powering the station for more than 20 years. The new ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (IROSAs) will be positioned in front of six of the current arrays, increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.
Credit NASA Johnson