Spacewalking astronauts accomplished their a part of a three-year energy improve to the International Space Station on Thursday, changing six extra outdated batteries with highly effective new ones.
It was the third spacewalk in as many weeks involving battery work by NASA’s Bob Behnken and Chris Cassidy.
Running greater than an hour forward of schedule, they managed to finish the battery swaps in a single spacewalk relatively than two. Their fourth spacewalk subsequent week will now concentrate on different chores.
“Great job,” Mission Control radioed.
Behnken and Cassidy swiftly eliminated six of the remaining previous nickel-hydrogen batteries and plugged in three new lithium-ion models.
The lithium-ion batteries — massive, boxy models with a mass of greater than 400 kilos (180 kilograms ) — are so highly effective that solely half as many are wanted. The batteries retailer energy gathered by the station’s photo voltaic panels to be used on the nighttime facet of Earth.
The effort to exchange all the house station’s 48 growing old batteries started in January 2017, requiring 11 spacewalks thus far.
One new battery shorted out in 2019 and the previous ones needed to be re-installed. One extra spacewalk stays, probably this fall. NASA is placing it off as a substitute of tackling it subsequent week as a result of it might contain powering down that energy channel.
Besides, the 2 remaining previous batteries are working effectively with all the brand new ones, mentioned Rob Navias, a spokesman at Johnson Space Center in Houston. “We are fats with energy and there’s no rush,” he mentioned in an electronic mail.
NASA expects these new batteries to final the remainder of the house station’s operational life — one other 4 years from now at the least.
Much of Thursday’s six-hour spacewalk unfolded greater than 260 miles (420 kilometers) up beneath the intense glare of daylight. “Can’t management the solar,” Cassidy famous. “Small worth to pay for it not going away, I assume. It’s good to be in daylight the entire time.” Behnken arrived on the house station on the finish of May on a SpaceX capsule, the corporate’s first astronaut flight. He and Doug Hurley are scheduled to return to Earth within the Dragon capsule in early August.
Cassidy, the house station’s commander, is midway by a six-month mission. A Russian Soyuz capsule is his journey to and from the orbiting outpost.
Both Behnken and Cassidy every now have 9 spacewalks to their credit score.