Video length: 2 min.
On Wednesday June 16, at 2 p.m., Thomas Pesquet will carry out his first spacewalk as part of the Alpha mission aboard the International Space Station. He will have to install solar panels.
Wednesday June 16, from 2 p.m., Thomas Pesquet will be encased in a 200-kilo diving suit, playing the space mechanic, 400 kilometers above the Earth, as in 2017. It is about of its third extra-vehicular outing. Its mission is to install a new solar panel at the end of the International Space Station (ISS) to increase the power of the spacecraft.
“The first time you switch outside the station, you are a little sucked in by this void. It’s like being on a mountaineering wall, but with this really dizzy feeling“, explains Thomas Pesquet. The operation, which is to last 6 hours, will be choreographed by NASA. Each gesture will require the French astronaut and his American college, Shane Kimbrough, an oversized effort; the effort of a 100 meters , over the duration of a marathon. Thomas Pesquet has been preparing for this physical test for over a year, underwater, with a life-size model of the ISS. “It’s not easy, because we have pressurized gloves, it’s a bit like trying to play the piano with boxing gloves (…). It’s really a very manual, very meticulous job“, comments the astronaut.