NASA’s astronaut duo performs the first spacewalk of 2019

During their time outside the space station, Hague and McClain installed adapter plates and replaced electrical connections for three of six new lithium-ion batteries installed on the station’s starboard truss.

The spacewalk, the first for Hague and McClain, lasted more than six-and-a-half hours.

Friday’s work is part of an ongoing effort to upgrade the space station’s power system. Astronauts conducted a similar battery swap in 2017. Over the next couple of years, more batteries will be delivered and used to replace older batteries.

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On March 29, McClain will once again don a spacesuit and step outside the space station. She will be joined by flight engineer Christina Koch.

“This would be the first-ever spacewalk with all-female spacewalkers,” according to NASA.

The lithium-ion batteries store power produced by the space station’s solar arrays. When ISS is in Earth’s shadow, the station’s power system can draw on the stored energy.


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