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Timelapse of spacewalk to install a solar array for the International Space Station

Timelapse of spacewalk to install a solar array for the International Space Station


This is a timelapse of spacewalks made by ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet during his second mission to the International Space Station, “Alpha”.

On 16 June 2021 Thomas and @NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough went on a spacewalk to install a new solar array for the International Space Station. These arrays, called IROSA for ISS Roll-Out Solar Array, had to be taken from their storage area outside the Space Station and passed from spacewalker to spacewalker to the worksite. There the rolled arrays were to be secured, unfolded, connected and then unfurled.

During the spacewalk a small technical problem in Shane’s spacesuit required him to return to the airlock and restart his Display and Control Module. This module provides astronauts with continuous information on pressure, temperature and other vital data during a spacewalk. Though the restart was successful and Shane was in no danger, it delayed the duo’s work, preventing them from completing installation of the first new solar array as planned. A second spacewalk was done on 20 June to finish installing the first solar array.

This video shows scenes from the first spacewalk with Thomas being moved on the robotic arm, at the controls was NASA astronaut Megan McArthur. The images for this timelapse were taken by @JAXA | 宇宙航空研究開発機構 astronaut and Space Station commander Aki Hoshide.

Thomas posted this video on his social media with the caption: “We have to do EVAs, but someone has to keep running the Space Station while we are preparing, spacewalking, reconfiguring, preparing again… Aki has been rock solid taking care of the spaceship pretty much by himself, performing all the maintenance and the science experiments, AND ON TOP OF THAT he found the time to take timelapses of our little walks outside. The man is a machine!”

It’s crazy that there are people in actual space doing things like this while I sit on a sofa with a half eaten pizza on my stomach. The crazy part being, of course, that the pizza is half eaten. Just give me another half hour and a toilet and we’ll make this situation right.

Keep going for the full video. It’d be impressive if it wasn’t so obviously a sound stage in Hollywood.