Astronauts Complete First Spacewalk in Series to Upgrade Station Batteries

Space.com | 10/6/2019 | Robert Z. Pearlman
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Two NASA astronauts worked to replace batteries outside of the International Space Station, completing the first in a series of five planned spacewalks devoted to upgrading the orbiting laboratory's power system.

Expedition - Flight - Engineers - Christina - Koch

Expedition 61 flight engineers Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan worked in the vacuum of space for 7 hours and 1 minute on Sunday (Oct. 6). Their extravehicular activity (EVA, or spacewalk) began at 7:39 a.m. EDT (1139 GMT) and ended at 2:40 p.m. EDT (1840 GMT).

Continuing a process that began with an initial set of battery replacements in January 2017, Koch and Morgan ventured to the far left, or port, side of the space station's backbone truss to work on some of the outpost's older power storage units.

View - Helmet - Camera - NASA - Christina

In a view from her helmet camera, NASA astronaut Christina Koch holds one of the batteries that she and astronaut Andrew Morgan worked to replace during a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019.

"Oh my goodness, it is gorgeous," said Morgan early in the spacewalk, reacting to the sun rising as he peered off the side of the station at Earth below. "This is pretty awesome."

Space - Station - Array - Wings - Side

The space station is powered by eight large solar array wings, four on each side of the truss. The arrays feed electricity to the station's systems when in sunlight and charge a bank of four large batteries mounted at their base for when the station passes into the shadow of Earth.

Koch and Morgan replaced two of the old nickel-hydrogen batteries with two new lithium-ion batteries that were delivered to the space station on board Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle-8 (HTV-8) that arrived on Sept. 28. Each of the more powerful lithium-ion batteries can hold the charge of two of the nickel-hydrogen batteries.

Duo

The spacewalking duo first removed one of...
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