NASA To Air Live Coverage Of US Astronauts' Spacewalk For Solar Array Installation

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NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station will conduct a spacewalk on Wednesday to install a rollout solar array to increase electrical power in support of operations and scientific research.

The seven hours-long spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 7:45 a.m. ET. The U.S. space agency said it will provide live coverage of the spacewalk from 6:30 a.m. on NASA Television, the app, and the agency's website.

Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Josh Cassada will exit the station's Quest airlock to install an International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) to augment power generation for the 4A power channel on the station's port truss.

Rubio will serve as extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1) and will wear a suit with red stripes. Cassada will serve as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2) and will wear an unmarked suit. The spacewalk will be the third in both Cassada and Rubio's careers.

If more time is needed to complete the iROSA installation, a second spacewalk may be conducted on December 27, NASA said.

This will be the fourth iROSA installed on station out of a total six planned for installation. Overall, the iROSAs will increase power generation capability by up to 30 percent, increasing the station's total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.

The iROSA arrived at the space station on November 27, following a launch aboard the agency's 26th SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply mission.

Cassada and Rubio are currently 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. It includes NASA's Artemis missions to the Moon.

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