Science

First spacewalk of 2020 has all-female crew

First spacewalk of 2020 has all-female crew”

At approximately 7 a.m. ET, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir went outside the space station to start the first spacewalk of the year.

On Wednesday, the duo ventured outside the ISS for the second time to replace the batteries that store and distribute the electricity generated by the space station's solar panels. Koch's helmet lights weren't attached and the camera was also detached from the helmet.

Meir tried to fix the helmet, but Mission Control in Houston, Texas, advised the women to remove the camera and light assembly.

These will be the second and third spacewalks for Meir and the fifth and sixth for Koch. Koch and Meir finished all of the scheduled battery fix work around 12:30 p.m., and then completed a single get-ahead task before cleaning up their work stations and heading back inside ISS.

The helmet trouble put the spacewalkers behind in their work to replace old batteries outside the space station.

Koch later assured flight controllers that she had ample staunch light.

While Koch and Meir were preparing for the spacewalk on Tuesday, Morgan and Parmitano were working on several scientific experiments. "You're missing that additional protection". The space station is powered by solar arrays and four sets of batteries. The astronauts carried out the first all-female spacewalk last October.

If the battery replacement work goes as planned, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and space station Commander Luca Parmitano from the European Space Agency will exit the station January 25 to finish installing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer's new cooling apparatus and lines begun in November and December and verify they are ready for use. A little over an hour later, NASA reported that the duo had completed the installation work on a new lithium-ion battery. That would make a total of five spacewalks for this latest series of battery work. But a charging unit then failed, prompting the need that month for unexpected repairs by Koch and Meir.

Engineers now believe the charger got too cold in the extreme temperatures of space.

Koch is only three weeks away from the end of an 11-month space mission, the longest ever undertaken by a woman. Meir arrived at the space station in September.



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