On Friday, two NASA astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) went out for a spacewalk to upgrade one of the station’s power channels. One of the astronauts, Robert Behnken, was sent up to the ISS by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft last month in the private rocket company’s historic manned launch.
Behnken and his colleague, Chris Cassidy, were tasked to replace lithium-ion batteries for one of the space station’s power channels. These walks are the final part of a multiyear project since 2017 to replace the ISS’s nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion ones.
“Spacewalking is no easy task, but our astronauts train extensively for these moments,” NASA said in a tweet on Wednesday. In the same post, the space agency posted an animation video demonstrating how Cassidy and Behnken would remove and replace each battery along an ISS truss.
The two astronauts exited the ISS’ main orbital lab at 7:32 a.m. Friday morning. The walk lasted slightly over six hours, during which time the astronauts made several trips along the ISS’ far starboard truss to install new batteries. The entire walk was live streamed on NASA TV.
Both astronauts are experienced spacewalkers. Friday’s walk was Cassidy’s seventh mission outside the ISS and Behnken’s eighth. They are scheduled for a similar walk next Wednesday on July 1.
Below are the best moments of Friday’s spacewalk:
Cassidy and Behnken left the ISS’ airlock at 7:32 a.m.
The two astronauts removed three old nickel-hydrogen batteries and replaced them with lithium-ion batteries that recently arrived at the ISS.
The astronauts completed the task ahead of schedule and removed an extra battery, which was originally planned for the next walk.
Cassidy and Behnken safely returned the ISS main orbital lab at around 2:00 p.m.