CAPE CANAVERAL: Spacewalking cosmonauts just completed their business of upgrading the International Space Center’s power after working for three years. They have substituted six old batteries with current ones.
The extravehicular activity counts their one after many weeks of operations, where NASA’s Bob Behnken and Chris Cassidy were involved.
Those spacewalkers managed to work ahead of the clock by finishing battery changes in just one spacewalk. The next fourth spacewalk will focus on other duties. After the successful swapping of old batteries with new ones, Mission Control congratulated them.
During the spacewalk mission, the two cosmonauts, Behnken and Cassidy, managed to fish out six of the left nickel-hydrogen batteries and substituted them with three new lithium-ion batteries.
The newly inserted lithium-ion batteries are enormous, with a weight of over 180 kilograms. Only half the number of cells was required as they are of reliable power. Those batteries collect energy from solar panels in the station, and later use that power when there is darkness (night) on Earth.
The whole process of substituting the 48 old batteries with new ones started way back in 2017, and the operation required only 11 extravehicular activities.
Last year (2019), one battery was short, and that resulted in the replacement of the remaining old cells. NASA is trying to postpone another spacewalk rather than going ahead and do it, the reason being it will have to switch off the power of that line.
Johnson Space Center’s spokesman, Rob Navis, confirmed that the other two old batteries are functioning well with the recent ones. The company does not seem to be in any rush as it has plenty of power.
NASA affirms that the newly fitted batteries will last for at least fours at ISS.
The spacewalk that took place on Thursday lasted for 6 hours, covering a distance of 420 kilometers under the shiny glare of the sunlight.
In the end month of May, Behnken arrived at the space station in a SpaceX Pod, marking it the first cosmonaut space journey. Behnken and Doug Hurly plan to return on Earth this August in the same SpaceX’s Pod.
Cassidy, who is the commander of the space station halfway the operation of his six months, he rides in Russian Soyuz pod, which will take him to the orbiting outpost and then back to Earth.
Both Behnken and Cassidy have a total of nine spacewalks each.