Andrew Morgan and Christina Koch, the two astronauts that went outside the ISS or the International Space Station for a battery change procedure on Sunday, completed a 7 hour and 1 minute mission floating in the space.
Morgan and Koch suited up and began depressurizing the crew lock compartment to kick start their task. Later they switched to battery power on their suits at, 7:39 EDT. After that, they exited the compartment, gathered the tool and started heading towards the port side’s far truss segment to initiate the replacement work.
Back in September 28, 6 new lithium–ion batteries were delivered to ISS via the Japanese HTV freighter. This was to replace the old Nickel-hydrogen batteries on the ISSwith the newer and more efficient ones.
This space walk was the second time in both of their careers and 219th walk for the maintenance of ISS since 1998.
On Sunday, both the astronauts completed the assigned task, a lot earlier than expected and did some extra work along the line as well. Koch wore a spacesuit with red stripes on it and Morgan’s suit had no markings. Both of them had a helmet mounted camera to provide live update of the process to the control center in Houston.
Dan Huot, who was the commentator of the spacewalk on NASA TV,said that they did all the assigned tasks successfully along with some extra one including actually swapping the batteries, a task which wasn’t even scheduled to happen until October 11.
Over the past few years, 12 Lithium-ion batteries have been installed on the ISS in 2 of the solar arrays with the help of delivery of the batteries from past 2 HTV missions.
In the Sunday spacewalk, the astronauts successfully removed the nickel-hydrogen batteries and installed the new Lithium-ion batteries in the P-6 truss. Despite the fact that the batteries don’t have any weight in microgravity, they are still pretty large and bulky.