Astronauts Perform Spacewalk to Replace Old Batteries at ISS
Even though the All-female spacewalk at the International Space Station is cancelled due to the Spacesuit issues, the spacewalks are still going on. 30 March, NASA announced that the Astronauts have halfway completed the replacement of old batteries at the International Space Station. The Big power system overhaul will help regulate power consumption at the station. More replacement work for the new power system is yet to be done, but the primary task is completed according to NASA. Astronauts Nick Hagues and Kristina Koch performed a 7-hour long spacewalk to complete the assigned work. This was one of the few scheduled spacewalks.
The astronauts replaced the age-old Nickel-hydrogen batteries from the Space Station with new generation Lithium-ion batteries, which are expected to last longer and provide much better stability. The batteries are located in the P4 truss, where the solar arrays are installed. The solar arrays capture the sunlight and create electricity, which will be stored in the Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries will power the space station when moving through the dark areas where sunlight cannot hit the solar arrays. Astronaut Nick Hagues and Anne McClain did the same task. They replaced six older batteries with three newer Lithium-ion batteries on March 22nd Spacewalk.
NASA made a quick change of plans for the recent spacewalk, as the lithium-ion batteries installed on March 22nd were throwing some problems. The cells were sending more voltage than expected, so the ground control arranged this spacewalk, where the defective batteries were replaced along with the older batteries. Almost all of the task of restoring the batteries were done with the help from Ground Control, who used “Canadaarm2”, a robotic arm of the International Space Station. The size and the weight of each battery was the problem, and that’s why the Ground Control did use the Robotic arm to lift and place the batteries in place.
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