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Astronauts have Replaced Old Batteries in Series of Spacewalks

09 October 2019

Astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan removed three old batteries during their spacewalk and installed two new ones that were delivered just a week ago.

The first all-female spacewalk is back on, six months after a-sizing flap to an embarrassing cancellation.

NASA said: "Space station crew members have conducted 219 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory".

Astronauts will typically be outside the space station for six to seven hours during a spacewalk, which is defined by NASA as "anytime an astronaut gets out of a vehicle while in space".

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Koch conducted a spacewalk along with fellow astronaut Nick Hague instead of McClain at the time. The first spacewalk to upgrade the space station's power supply was headed by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

During an interview on NASA TV, Koch and McClain were asked how they felt about their accomplishments being qualified by their gender.

"There are a lot of people that derive motivation from inspiring stores from people that look like them and I think it's an important aspect of the story to tell", she said. They are also doing their first spaceflights.

In this photo made available by NASA astronaut Jessica Meir on September 29, 2019, Christina H. Koch, left, and Meir greet each other after Meir's arrival on the International Space Station.

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Koch is two-thirds of the way through a more than 300-day mission.

The upcoming spacewalks will help replace solar array batteries and upgrade them to lithium-ion batteries, as well as refurbish the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a scientific instrument "that explores the fundamental nature of the universe", according to NASA.

"During the seven-hour and one minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts began the replacement of nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries on the far end of the station's port truss". "And it's wonderful to be contributing to the human spaceflight program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role, and that in turn can lead to an increased chance for success".

Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan on Sunday.

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There are 11 spacewalks coming up in the next few months - 10 United States and one Russian. Only one is two women.

Astronauts have Replaced Old Batteries in Series of Spacewalks