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Two spacewalkers are installing a new solar array on the ISS

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Two NASA astronauts are currently on a spacewalk, working to install a new solar array outside the International Space Station. long term project Upgrade your station’s power system. The spacewalk is livestreamed, so you can watch it live using the video below, or catch up later if you missed it live.

Spacewalk with NASA Astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio

NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio are working to install a new solar array called the International Space Station Rollout Solar Array (iROSA). They will work for about seven hours to install the array on the support structure installed in the previous spacewalk.

Astronaut Josh Kasada pictured during a spacewalk on November 15, 2022. Prepare the space station for future solar array installation work. Frank Rubio/NASA

The purpose of the upgrade is to enhance the station’s power system by complementing the old solar array. Previous solar arrays, pairs of large panels projecting from stations to harvest energy from the sun, are up to 20 years and are past their 15-year useful life. However, the old panel is still working to generate power, so it will not be removed. It’s not as efficient as it used to be.

The new array, while smaller than the old array, still produces more power due to improved technology and is staggered on top of the old panel, allowing both the old and new panels to work together. They are unpacked when iROSA is installed. 60 feet long Ready to be used to harvest energy for power systems.

Today, spacewalkers not only install iROSAs, but also perform other maintenance tasks, such as cutting cables so that one of the power channels can be reactivated. NASA said the channel was shut down “due to an electrical outage.” update“Disconnecting the cable isolates the affected portion of the array and restores the channel to 75% of its normal operating capacity.”

If you’ve been watching spacewalk videos and wondering who is who, you can tell the difference between the two astronauts. Casada wears a red striped spacesuit and Rubio wears a plain white spacesuit.

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