Sometimes the people who take care of the building are a little late in maintenance. Sometimes the same thing happens to the people who take care of International Space Station.
Two astronauts are preparing for a spacewalk this weekend to prepare for the next replacement of the 15-year-old solar arrays that have been installed on the International Space Station more than 20 years ago, according to NASA.
Aviation engineers Kate Robins and Victor Glover will exit the International Space Station for a spacewalk. They will assemble and install equipment for upcoming upgrades that will replace current degraded solar arrays and increase the plant’s available power from 160 kilowatts to 215 kilowatts, according to NASA. The SpaceX rocket is scheduled to present new arrays later this year.
This will be the third space walk for both astronauts.
“The crew in orbit this week are very busy,” flight director Marcus Flores said during a news conference on Wednesday. “They worked a lot to make sure all of their procedures were reviewed and their training was complete.”
The astronauts are due to be discharged at around 6 a.m. EST on Sunday. The space walk is expected to last about six and a half hours.
Sunday’s spacewalk is the first of two upcoming spacewalks scheduled for the International Space Station. On March 5, Robins will head out again with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to vent ammonia, among other missions. They will also install a “hardener” on the heatlock cover.
These will be the space walks No. 235 and 236 of the International Space Station.
While some astronauts were on board the International Space Station preparing for upcoming spacewalks, others were busy unloading the four tons of cargo that had arrived on the Northrop Grumman Signs resupply ship, according to NASA. The equipment delivered to the station includes supplies and new scientific devices such as freezers for biological samples and other equipment.