On Monday, February 1, Hopkins and Glover plugged in the last 24 new lithium-ion batteries to replace the old nickel-hydrogen. Batteries store the energy received from solar panels and deliver it to the station as it flies over the earth at night.
Improvements to the RSS energy system took longer than expected, as one of the new batteries failed after installation two years ago. This battery needs to be replaced by astronauts during an exit.
Other work outside the station
Hopkins and Glover took less than an hour to operate the last new battery, and built their first “space walk” this week from last week, the AP agency recalls.
They now have ample time to successfully complete other tasks, including installing a new camera in the station’s US Destiny Laboratory and replacing parts of the camera system with a Japanese Kibo module.
NASA said it plans to make two more shifts outside the station’s interior within a month to install additional solar panels. These should be taken to the RSS by the end of this year.
In addition to Hopkins and Glover, NASA colleagues Shannon Walker, Kate Rubins, Japanese Sochi Noguchi, Russian astronauts Sergei Raishkov and Sergei Kud-Sverkov are currently working on the space station.
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