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Home / Science / Beckenken’s Cassidy begins the final series of space station battery upgrades – now in space flight

Beckenken’s Cassidy begins the final series of space station battery upgrades – now in space flight



Stories written for CBS News & allowed to use

On Friday, astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken worked outside the International Space Station. Image source: NASA TV / Spaceflight Now

Earlier Friday, two astronauts floated outside the International Space Station and carried out the first of four planned space walks to complete a complex multi-year job with 24 more powerful lithium-ion units Replace 48 aging batteries in the laboratory solar system.

Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken started quickly, completed all the planned tasks all day in advance, and began the work of the next space walk that was originally planned to be carried out next Wednesday.

“I think we have finished the day’s work,” a spacewalker quipped, then returned to the airlock and ended the six-hour seven-minute tour.

The battery replacement work started in January 2017. According to the results on Friday, astronauts should be able to complete the work next month to ensure a smooth and reliable distribution of electricity for the rest of the entire decade (even if it does not exceed).

Kenny Todd, deputy space station project manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, said: “Unless there is any unpredictable type of failure, I believe it can be said with certainty. “The service life of new technology batteries allows us to stand out at the end of the plan. “

Cassidy and Behnken floated in the Quest airlock and converted their space suits to battery power at 7:32 AM EST, officially launching the 228th EVA in history, this year This is the fourth time so far and the seventh for the two astronauts.

Standing in the station to assist the laboratory robotic arm is Douglas Hurley, a crew member of Benken’s manned spacecraft last month, the SpaceX Crew Dragon ferry boat that sent them into orbit last month, and space flight Ivan Vagner, who launched the Soyuz on April 9 together with Soyuz astronaut Cassidy and astronaut Anatoly Ivanishinin.

Cassidy floated off the airlock and reported that a small wrist mirror was somehow loose and drifted at about half a mile per hour to help him read a space suit display that he could not directly see. The tilted scale weighs only one tenth of a pound, and the lost mirror will not pose a threat to the station or the crew. In any case, Cassidy has spare power.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to fill all 48 older nickel-metal hydride batteries in the space station with 24 smaller and more powerful lithium-ion batteries and an “adapter board” that completes the circuit, and for filling Battery replacement board. Deleted but not replaced. The adapter board can also provide a long-term storage location for several old batteries.

The new batteries are composed of six sets of integrated electronic components or IEAs at the bottom of the four main solar array wings of the station. Each wing is composed of two stretchable solar cell blankets. The power generated by them is transmitted through the entire power station through eight electrical buses or channels, two for each IEA.

The batteries in each IEA store the electrical energy generated by the array under sunlight, and then provide the necessary electrical energy to keep the laboratory still running normally through the shadows of the earth.

The inside right array is part of the starboard 4 or S4 truss section, which provides power for channels 1A and 3A. The inside left array is part of Port 4 or P4 truss section, which supplies power to channels 2A and 4A.

In 2017, spacewalkers replaced 12 built-in S4 solar battery cells with six lithium-ion batteries, and in March 2019, replaced 12 built-in P4 batteries with another six LiOH batteries.

For all these replacements, the robotic arm of the space station has the necessary reach to assist astronauts in repositioning and releasing the battery, and only requires four space walks. Outboard arrays and batteries pose greater challenges.

In two spacewalks in October last year and two other spacewalks in January this year, the spacewalkers replaced the leftmost battery of the platform truss-P6-channels 2B and 4B. The battery in Channel 4B was installed during NASA’s second and third all-female spacewalks.

Because the external work site is far from the outermost point of the robot arm, four space walks are required because astronauts must manually move the battery back and forth between the storage tray and the integrated electronic components that install them.

Cassidy and Behnken plan to perform four substantially identical spacewalks to replace the outer right with six lithium-ion units, three to power channel 1B, and three right arrays powered by channel 3B Twelve NiMH batteries in the side array.

On Friday’s tour, the astronauts removed five of the six older batteries in the 1B circuit and installed two new batteries and two adapter plates. In the spacewalk next week, the last nickel-metal hydride battery in the 1B circuit will be removed, and a third lithium-ion battery and an adapter plate will be installed.

In two spacewalks next month, Cassidy and Behnken plan to replace the batteries in power channel 3B.

However, these space walks will depend in part on the manner of the first two flights and the state of the plan to take Behnken and Hurley back to Earth on the “Dragon” ferry boat around August 2. If problems arise, the last two space walks can be postponed and performed by future station staff.




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