Spacesuit technical issue halts power installation in orbit

Spacesuit technical problems prevented astronauts from completing the installation of powerful, new solar panels outside the International Space Station

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough encountered spacesuit issues midway through the about 3.5 hours into the 7-hour spacewalk, forcing him to temporarily return back into the airlock to reset his equipment. The interruption put Mr Kimbrough and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet behind by about an hour, then they had trouble trying to unfold the solar panel’s booms before time finally ran out.

The astronauts had to lug the solar wing — three metres long by one metre wide — to the work site on the far left end of the station. They managed to bolt it into place, but could not unfold the booms because of a problem in the mounting bracket.

Once properly installed, the solar panel is designed to roll out like a red carpet 19 metres in length.

NASA wants to refurbish the ageing space station as demand to visit grows.