International Space Station Astronauts Perform First Spacewalk of 2019

Space										
		
																	Watch two NASA astronauts make repairs outside the International Space Station live					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehn

NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Nick Hague are working to replace old nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries.

NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Nick Hague are set to work for 6.5 hours today on the ISS's exterior. Hague is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes, and with helmet camera #17.

While it draws most of its energy from the massive solar panels that make up its distinctive shape, it also must store that energy in rechargeable batteries for when the station orbits Earth's nightside.

Two NASA astronauts completed a spacewalk Friday to replace aging batteries on the International Space Station.

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Additional batteries will be replaced as part of this power upgrade over the next couple of years as new batteries are delivered to station. It will be the first only-women spacewalk in history. NASA is about halfway through replacing 48 batteries with ones that are expected to last the remainder of the station's life. Their work will continue the years-long process of upgrading the station's eight main power channels, which are crucial for keeping the ISS functioning. The original nickel-hydrogen batteries have become less capable of holding a charge over time. For that one, she will be joined by fellow astronaut Christina Koch; they will perform similar work on the other side of the station.

Flight controllers remotely operating the station's robot arm had already removed four of the older nickel-hydrogen batteries and installed three of the new lithium-ion batteries in slots one, three and five.

This battery swap operation still has a long way to go, though.

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