Spacewalking Astronauts Successfully Connects Three New Batteries To ISS

Posted: Jan 9 2017, 8:07am CST | by , Updated: Jan 9 2017, 8:28pm CST, in Latest Science News


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Spacewalking Astronauts Successfully Connects Three New Batteries to ISS
Spacewalkers Peggy Whitson (left) and Shane Kimbrough were suited up and ready to go before this morning’s spacewalk began at 7:23 a.m. EST. Credit: @Thom_Astro for NASA

The first International Space Station power upgrade spacewalk is over and astronauts are planning for second spacewalk.

The first spacewalk that lasted 6 hours and 32 minutes has ended, and both NASA astronauts were successful in installing 3 adapters to charge 6 new lithium batteries on the international space station. The two astronauts also completed Alpha magnetic spectrometer’s image survey.

These lithium batteries are better than nickel hydrogen batteries which are currently used for storing electricity generated by solar radiations. Batteries’up gradation started in January, and the first stage is over now.

Commander Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson also took the help of a robot before taking the spacewalk. The robot named Dextre, a hulking machine with 11-foot arms,removed old batteries to place the new lithium batteries. The robot saved lot of spacewalkers’ time.

Both spacewalkers completed their task before time and also did some additional tasks. NASA believes that it will need 2 to 3 years to change all 48 batteries, as these batteries have made solar power system for the space station. New lithium batteries are very powerful and only 24 would be required for the power system.

The second spacewalk will start on Friday Jan 13, and NASA will cover the event at 5:30 am. The second spacewalk will be conducted by Flight engineer Thomas Pesquet of European space agency and Kimbrough.

Again in the second walk, Kimbrough will be member 1 with a suit with red strips, and will have his fourth spacewalk. On the other hand, Pesquet will have his first spacewalk and will be member 2 wearing suit without strips.

Crew members of space station have arranged 196 spacewalks so far to support orbiting labs maintenance and its assembly. A total of 1,224 hours and 6 minutes are spent by spacewalkers in the spacewalk.

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