Astronaut Thomas Pesquet riding the robotic arm during spacewalk

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet attached to the tip of the robotic arm at the International Space Station during a spacewalk on Wednesday (June 16). During the 7 hour and 15 minute spacewalk, Pesquet and his colleague NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough installed a new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) into its mounting bracket on the station’s backbone truss structure.

In this image, Pesquet can be seen waving into the camera after letting go of the rolled up 750 lbs (350 kg) iROSA solar array.

“It was both a magical experience and a real struggle,” Pesquet tweeted after the spacewalk. “I’m not ready to forget this little trick at the end of the robotic arm while holding a piece of equipment that is 3 times my weight.” He then complimented fellow crew member, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, who controlled the robotic arm during the operation to her skills. “Fortunately, @Astro_Megan is a robotic arm driving trophy champion.”

Pesquet and Kimbrough are expected to conduct another spacewalk next week to install electrical cables and bolts to enable the solar array to deploy and start providing power for the orbital outpost. — Tereza Pultarova

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