Astronauts prep space station for new solar array on first all-international spacewalk

Two astronauts installed the mount for a new solar array outside of the International Space Station during the first spacewalk to not include an American or Russian crew member as one of the pair.

Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet with the European Space Agency (ESA), both clad in U.S. spacesuits bearing their respective countries’ flags on their left shoulders, spent six hours and 54 minutes working in the vacuum of space on Sunday (Sept. 12). The extravehicular activity (EVA) began at 8:15 a.m. EDT (1215 GMT) when the two Expedition 65 crewmates switched their suits to battery power.

In photos: The astronaut snapshots of Expedition 65 at the International Space Station

JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide (at left) and Thomas Pesquet with ESA work outside of the International Space Station on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 on the first international spacewalk to be performed without an American or Russian crewmate. (Image credit: NASA TV)

Exiting the U.S. Quest airlock, Hoshide and Pesquet made their way to the port (or left-hand) side of the space station’s backbone truss to a position referred to as P4. There, they worked together to build a bracket structure, called a modification kit, and then mounted it to the mast canister at the base of one of the existing P4 solar arrays.

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