Friday, 26 April, 2019

Watch two NASA astronauts work on ISS power system during spacewalk

This image provided by NASA shows astronauts Anne Mc Clain and Nick Hague taking a spacewalk to replace aging batteries on the International Space Station on Friday How to watch first NASA spacewalk of 2019 during International Space Station upgrade
Sandra Phillips | 24 March, 2019, 16:39

The details: The battery change is being carried out by two NASA astronauts, first-time spacewalkers Anne McClain and Nick Hague.

During the six hour, 39 minute spacewalk, Hague and McClain replaced nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel on one pair of the station's solar arrays, NASA said in a statement on Friday.

McClain is designated extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit with red stripes, and with the helmet camera labeled #20.

The batteries the duo are replacing soak up energy from the solar panels installed on the ISS.

The astronauts also removed debris from outside the station, secured tieback restraints on the Solar Array Blanket Box and took photographs of a bag of tools for contingency repairs and the thermal cover on the airlock used for spacewalks, NASA said Friday afternoon.

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As the spacewalkers were taking off their spacesuits, they got a surprise message from Hague's wife, Air Force Lt. Col. Catie Hague: "You guys nailed it".

The International Space Station will darken behind the Earth's shadow just before reaching the horizon.

These new batteries provide an improved power capacity for operations with a lighter mass and a smaller volume than the nickel-hydrogen batteries. At the start of the first spacewalk, power channel 4A had already been isolated from the station's electrical grid and the six older nickel-hydrogen batteries powering that channel were drained. The spacewalking work continues the overall upgrade of the station's power system that began with similar battery replacement during spacewalks in January 2017. McCain and Koch will tackle the power channel 2A battery swap outs next Friday.

Ms McClain was launched to the ISS in December 2018 while Mr Hague arrived at the space station this March.

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