The last set of solar panels to be installed on the International Space Station will make the vessel the second-brightest object in Earth’s night sky, with only the moon being brighter.
The Canadarm2 robotic system for assembling and maintaining the space station is set to install a fourth and final set of solar array wings later this month, according to The Space Fellowship news network. Once the arrays go up, the space station will surpass Venus in brightness.
The solar panels, to be delivered by the Space Shuttle Discovery, will increase by 50 percent the amount of solar-generated electricity available for scientific experiments aboard the space station. They will also increase the station’s length to 102 metres.