Published: Mon, January 09, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

The first black astronaut to board the ISS revealed

The first black astronaut to board the ISS revealed

NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson are spending time outside the International Space Station on the morning of January 6.

The new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates that are installed now has replaced the nickel-hydrogen batteries which were earlier used on the station. For example, Kimbrough's flight navigator, Peggy Whitson, spent nearly 48 hours outside the command module, and the oldest female to spend that much time in space.

Three more HTV flights over the next several years will be needed to bring up an additional 18 lithium-ion batteries to upgrade the remaining six power channels. She is also the 13th woman to take on this role as well.

It would seem that 2017 has proved to be a productive year for the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

All together, 48 NiH2 batteries store power for the station's eight electrical channels.

The three cosmonauts worked on an array of station maintenance tasks and advanced space experiments.

NASA is now conducting a spacewalk to replace the International Space Station's batteries.

With the help of the more than 200 astronauts who have visited, the space station enables us to demonstrate new technologies and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. Plus, NASA was beginning to run into some issues with parts for the nickel-hydrogen batteries according to Kenneth Todd, the ISS Operations Manager. Once they're finished, it'll be time to prep for next week's trip, in which Kimbrough and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet will complete the rest of the battery installation.

On Friday, it was up to Kimbrough and Whitson to wire up three of the six new batteries delivered last month in a Japanese cargo capsule. This the third spacewalk (which NASA prefers to call an 'extravehicular activity, ' or EVA) of Kimbrough, and the seventh for Whitson.

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