NASA astronauts have installed adapter plates and electrical connections necessary for three of six new lithium-ion batteries to be installed on the International Space Station.
Thanks to the help of the Dextre system, Peggy Whitson and Commander Shane Kimbrough finished the task in just four hours. They were even able to get other tasks finished ahead of schedule.
The two NASA astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station. They also accomplished several get-ahead tasks, including a photo survey of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.
The new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used on the station to store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. Robotic work to update the batteries began in January. This was the first of two spacewalks planned to finalize the installation.
Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will conduct the second spacewalk on Friday, Jan. 13. NASA Television coverage will begin at 5:30 a.m.
Once again, Kimbrough will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing a suit bearing red stripes for the fourth spacewalk of his career. Pesquet, who will be making the first spacewalk of his career, will be extravehicular crew member 2, and will wear a suit with no stripes.
Space station crew members have conducted 196 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,224 hours and 6 minutes working outside the station.