Astronaut Completes Spacewalk Without Helmet Camera, Lights

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Spacewalking astronauts had to form do with fewer lights and camera views from one helmet Wednesday while performing critical battery work outside the International space platform .

It was the second pairing of NASA’s Jessica Meir and Christina Koch outside the orbiting lab. Last October, they teamed up for the world’s first all-female spacewalk.

The women were just getting started on battery replacements when Koch’s camera and lightweight unit came loose and that they couldn’t catch on back on her helmet. Mission Control told them to only take it off, instead of waste any longer time, and continue the spacewalk.

“Just take care ,” Mission Control urged Koch. “You’re missing that additional protection.”

Koch later assured flight controllers that she had enough good light. The astronauts ended up completing all their tasks and even jumped ahead, putting two new batteries in and pulling four old ones out. The spacewalk lasted 7 1/2 hours.

“It was truly amazing for Christina and me to be back out here today,” said Meir.

She also welcomed the 13 new astronauts who graduated last week, reading out their first names.

Meir and Koch have one last spacewalk next Monday. that might make a complete of 5 spacewalks for this latest effort to put in six new batteries and take away 12 old ones.

NASA is within the midst of replacing 48 decades-old nickel-hydrogen batteries outside the sprawling space platform with more powerful, longer-lasting lithium-ion batteries, of which only half as many are needed. The batteries are a part of the station’s solar energy network, keeping everything running when the outpost is on the night side of Earth. the ultimate batch of latest batteries should be launched this spring.

Koch went out with a male colleague twice last October to put in three new batteries. But a charging unit then failed, prompting the necessity that month for unexpected repairs by Koch and Meir.
Engineers now believe the charger got too cold within the extreme temperatures of space. The solution: exposing the chargers to the sun the maximum amount as possible during the battery work.

Koch is simply three weeks faraway from ending an 11-month space mission, the longest ever by a lady . She’s been living 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth since last March. Meir received the space platform in September.

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