NASA astronauts go on a spacewalk to replace batteries
New Delhi : Two NASA astronauts embarked on a spacewalk to change vital solar array batteries on the International Space Station Thursday (July 16). It was needed to keep the orbiting lab powered through at least 2024.
NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken zoomed through their tasks, removing six aging nickel-hydrogen batteries on the far starboard S6 truss of the ISS. The duo also installed three lithium-ion battery replacements and placed a new high-definition camera outside the orbiting lab.
Since the lithium ion batteries are twice the powerful than the older one, only three were required instead of six.
The spacewalk incident lasted for around 6 hours and got concluded 30 minutes before the expected time.
Near the spacewalk's end, Cassidy and Behnken noticed some possible oddities with the pins holding the Quest airlock hatch in place; the astronauts took pictures for mission control to analyze later. Another NASA spacewalk is planned for July 21.
Meanwhile, it has been learned that the biggest trouble faced by the spacewalkers while replacing the batteries was constant light from the Sun.
"You've got that sun," Behnken commented while watching Cassidy, who was unbolting the battery while directly facing the light.
"Worst sun you can have," Cassidy said, not moving from his perch.
"Right in your face," Behnken confirmed.
Powering the international space station hugely depends on keeping the batteries in good shape. For the same replacement drives are carried out time to time.