The International Space Station (ISS) is an incredibly high-tech spacecraft, according tomedia reports. It’s loaded with a lot of advanced instruments, and it’s basically a floating science lab. Like any machine, however, it requires some maintenance and repair from time to time, and the upcoming spacewalk will provide some much-needed upgrades to ISS.
NASA has just announced its latest spacewalk plan. The first will be held on 26 June and the other on 1 July. On both trips, the astronauts were tasked with replacing old and outdated batteries with new, high-capacity batteries. Both spacewalks will be carried out by NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken.
ISS needs a lot of energy, and for this it is equipped with a solar array to generate energy. However, because the space station orbits the Earth more than a dozen times a day, it is often shrouded in the earth’s shadow. In those dark times, the space station maintains a steady supply of electricity through the amount of electricity stored in the battery. But old, outdated nickel hydride batteries need to be replaced with new lithium-ion batteries, a project that began three years ago.
ACCORDING TO NASA:
Spacewalking astronauts will replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries in two power channels on the station’s far-right truss, which was shipped to the station last month by a Japanese cargo ship, with a new lithium-ion battery. The replacement of the batteries is the culmination of an energy upgrade during the spacewalk, which began in January 2017.
Ensuring that the space station has a fully functional power train is essential not only for scientific research conducted there, but also for the well-being of astronauts living there. ISS has been orbiting the Earth since the late 1990s and still has plenty of life due to the need to upgrade and maintain it on a regular basis.
For now, the International Space Station is expected to continue to operate, with it is estimated that it will continue to host astronauts until at least 2030.