Watch the first of two spacewalks this month to swap out batteries on the outside of the space station

This morning, two astronauts will spacewalk on the outside of the International Space Station, in order to replace the vehicle’s aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer lithium-ion ones. NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Nick Hague are set to work for 6.5 hours today on the ISS’s exterior. Their work will continue the years-long process of upgrading the station’s eight main power channels, which are crucial for keeping the ISS functioning.

NASA first started replacing batteries on the ISS in 2017. The original nickel-hydrogen batteries have become less capable of holding a charge over time. “Just like your rechargeable batteries at home, eventually over time, they’re not going to recharge as well,” Kenny Todd, the missions operations…

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