Astronauts Completed First Spacewalk, Among Five, to Replace Batteries of the ISS

by Ernest Thomas
Astronauts Completed First Spacewalk, Among Five, to Replace Batteries of the ISS

Two astronauts aboard have replaced the batteries outside of the orbiting space lab, i.e., ISS. It is one of the five scheduled spacewalks committed to upgrading the power system of the International Space Station. On Sunday, a pair of astronauts from Expedition 61, Andrew Morgan, and Christina Koch have functioned in the space. The task to upgrade batteries started at 7:39 a.m. EDT and completed at 2:40 p.m. EDT. All in all, it took around 7 hours for the astronomers to complete the task. During the process, the engineers have removed three older batteries from the solar power frame of the lab. After that, they have placed two more powerful substitutes.

Through this and the other four upgradations, NASA aims to upgrade ISS’s electrical system in order to top up its life. The space lab consists of eight large solar wings with four on every side of the grid. There are 12 nickel-hydrogen batteries on one side of the ISS’ solar wings. In total, there are 48 such batteries aboard. Now NASA aims to replace these nickel-hydrogen batteries with 24 lithium-ion power packs having greater power. Before the current act of replacement, astronauts have installed two sets of six batteries in the previous two consecutive years. Thus, the latest replacement is the third set of lithium-ion batteries.

Apart from the latest move, Andrew and Christina intend to start second EVA or extravehicular activity on Friday. Even more, Andrew and Jessica Meir, another astronaut aboard, plan to make a third walk on October 16. If it all works out, Jessica and Christina will take a risk once again on October 21. The American space agency has planned for the first-ever all-female walk on the day. Meanwhile, on October 25, Jessica and Luca Parmitano will conduct a fifth and terminal spacewalk. All in all, NASA aims to wind up the five battery-replacing spacewalks in the current month.

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