Thomas Pesquet has returned to the International Space Station, after a spacewalk of more than 6 hours

The French astronaut must make a new trip on June 25 to finish installing the new solar panels.

“It was a good day,” rejoiced French astronaut Thomas Pesquet on Monday morning, who returned without incident Sunday inside the International Space Station (ISS) after another spacewalk over six o’clock. The latter aims to install new solar panels on the International Space Station.

This was Thomas Bisquet’s fourth space flight, and the second in this mission, that he conducted with fellow American Shane Kimbrough.

At 11:42 GMT, the two men, who arrived aboard the station at the end of April, activated the internal battery of their suits, and then opened the hatch of the International Space Station’s decompression chamber. Thomas Bisquet, out into the void first, was followed by his teammate.

Deploying new solar panels

During 6:28 am, the astronauts finished positioning, installing, wiring, and deploying the first new generation solar panels, 19 meters long, and began installing a second. These solar panels, called iROSA, are believed to enhance the power generation capabilities of the International Space Station and were delivered by a SpaceX cargo ship.

NASA reports that “today’s spacewalk by Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet officially ended at 2:10 p.m.” (6:10 p.m. GMT).

The Mechanics began installing the first solar panel on Wednesday. But the expedition was troubled by several setbacks, including concerns about Shane Kimbrough’s suit.

“We will return to the void of space to finish the work of the first director (deploying the first solar panel) and install the second,” Thomas Pesquet had detailed on social networks Sunday morning, beaming at the prospect of a ‘wonderful day.

A new spacewalk scheduled for this week

NASA is planning a new spacewalk on June 25 so that the duo can complete the installation of a second solar panel.

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Thomas Pesquet now counts 26 hours and 15 minutes spent in spacewalks. This is the fourth time that the two astronauts have floated together in zero gravity, clinging to the space station that orbits 400 kilometers above Earth. They already carried out two side-by-side spacewalks in 2017, and one on Wednesday. This is the 240th flight in the history of the International Space Station.

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