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Two astronauts will walk out of the International Space Station's airlock a few weeks after a catastrophic disaster to add a supporting bracket to install the third new solar panel. A spacewalk will take place near the station's pressurized living quarters on August 24.

JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei will do the spacewalk, including the installation of a modification kit. Space Coast Daily said that the package prepares the location for the third of six new International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSA) to be installed and deployed in the future.

NASA Television, the agency's website, and the NASA app will broadcast the press conference on August 23, 2 p.m. EDT, and spacewalk live coverage on August 24, 7 a.m. EDT.

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(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
The newly installed MpLM (Multi-purpose Laboratory Module), known as the Nauka module, docked to the Zvezda port on ISS.

Astronauts To Work on New Solar Panels

As astronauts continue to update one of the station's eight power channels (4A), which supplies partial power to the Columbus module, the Harmony module, and U.S. Laboratory, the solar arrays are placed to increase the station's power capacity.

NASA said that the astronauts would also update a device that regulates the panel's electrical charging capacity. Vande Hei will serve as the extravehicular crew member two (EV2), while Hoshide will be extravehicular crew member one (EV1) during the spacewalk.

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The August 24 spacewalk will follow three previous ones to install the first pair of new iROSA arrays, with Kimbrough and Pesquet relocating the first to a mounting bracket on June 16 and completing the installation on June 20 in the second spacewalk. On June 25, astronauts used a spacewalk to deploy the second of six new arrays.

Astronomers placed the solar displays in the wake of the failure of the previous panels in the year 2000. NASA said that it is supposed to last 15 years. KPVI said that the station's total usable output will increase from 160 kilowatts to a maximum of 215 kilowatts if all six additional arrays are installed.

Gateway, a new lunar-orbiting outpost being developed by NASA's commercial and international partners, will employ the same roll-out solar array architecture.

Astronauts Investigating Nauka Incident

Meanwhile, the Associated Press said that astronauts are investigating the consequences of a malfunction that led the International Space Station to rotate last month. Thrusters on Russia's Nauka laboratory module immediately activated after it arrived at the International Space Station, causing the orbiting outpost to rotate about one-and-a-half rotations gently.

The station was subsequently pushed back to its usual position when Russia's controllers initiated a command on another Russian module and a Russian cargo ship connected to the space station to cease spinning. The astronauts were safe, according to both U.S. and Russian space authorities.

RELATED ARTICLE: NASA Releases Time-Lapse Video of Solar Panel Installation at ISS 

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