Spacewalking astronauts tackle more solar panel advance work

A pair of astronauts are spacewalking for the second time this week to get the International Space Station ready for new solar panels

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — For the second time this week, a pair of astronauts floated outside Friday to get the International Space Station ready for new solar panels.

The equipment will support the first set of improved solar panels, due to arrive in June.

During Sunday’s spacewalk, Rubins and NASA astronaut Victor Glover encountered a number of stubborn bolts that prevented them from completing the support set-up.

NASA decided the leftover work was more important than the other chores that had been scheduled for Friday’s spacewalk, namely venting and rearranging hoses for ammonia coolant. Future spacewalkers will deal with that.

The latest spacewalk should be the last for the station’s current residents, whose half-year missions are coming to a close.

Rubins will return to Earth in mid-April in a Russian capsule, along with two Russians. Noguchi, Glover and two other NASA astronauts will fly SpaceX back in late April or May.

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