On Friday, astronauts Andrew Morgan and Christina Koch conducted a spacewalk to install new lithium-ion batteries along one of the space station's four sets, or "channels", of batteries.
Station managers chose to postpone previously planned spacewalks that had been set to install new batteries this week and next in order to replace the faulty power unit, called a Battery Charge/Discharge Unit (BCDU). Instead, the all-female spacewalk seems to be the result of happenstance, thanks to the makeup of the crew members aboard the ISS, as well as the need to upgrade the space station's batteries to new, lithium-ion ones. NASA has moved up the first all-female spacewalk to Thursday because of a power system failure at the International Space Station. The first all-female spacewalk is back on, six months after a flap over spacesuits led to an embarrassing cancellation. Coverage on NASA Television will begin about 6:30 a.m. and will be livestreamed on the BDN's website.
It should be noted that the failure of the BCDU has not endangered the astronauts onboard the ISS or any of the operations in the ISS, e.g experiments or supplies. So Koch and Meir will make some lengthy-overdue historical past.
"We are still working through it", Todd told reporters. They have three more spacewalks to go to finish the battery work.
An all-female spacewalk was originally planned for March, but NASA swapped out astronaut Anne McClain due to a lack of "spacesuit availability".
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CARIBOU, Maine - Astronauts Jessica Meir, a Caribou native, and Christina Kock are preparing for a spacewalk scheduled for later this week, according to a NASA press release.
NASA announced earlier this fall that it was planning 10 spacewalks over three months, a pace the space agency said it had not experienced since assembly of the ISS was completed in 2011. That trip to space - and going on a spacewalk in particular - has been a goal of hers since she started talking about becoming an astronaut at age 5. That historic spacewalk had been scheduled for October 21.
The new batteries arrived at the space station September 28 aboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, according to NASA.
NASA astronaut Christina Koch pictured at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Centre in Star City outside Moscow on February 20, 2019.
The March spacewalk was called off because astronaut Ann McClain needed a medium spacesuit but only a large was available.