Three Spacewalks Set in January to Complete Battery Upgrades, Finalize Repairs to Cosmic Ray Detector

By  //  January 10, 2020

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Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch scheduled to conduct spacewalks

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir takes an out-of-this-world “space-selfie” with her spacesuit helmet visor down reflecting her camera and International Space Station hardware. (NASA image)

(NASA) – Four astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station for three spacewalks in January to complete battery upgrades and finalize repairs to an invaluable cosmic ray detector.

Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch of NASA are scheduled to conduct spacewalks Wednesday, Jan. 15, and Monday, Jan. 20, to finish replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries that store power generated by the station’s solar arrays on the station’s port truss.

Assuming the battery work goes as planned, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and space station Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) will exit the station Saturday, Jan. 25, to finish installing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s (AMS) new cooling apparatus and lines begun in November and December, and verify they are ready for use.

Live coverage of all three spacewalks will begin at 5:30 a.m. EST on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch of NASA are scheduled to conduct spacewalks Wednesday, Jan. 15, and Monday, Jan. 20, to finish replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries that store power generated by the station’s solar arrays on the station’s port truss. (NASA image)

These will be the second and third spacewalks for Meir, who will be extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) for both spacewalks. Koch, who will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2), will perform the fifth and sixth spacewalks of her career.

Morgan, who will be EV1 for the AMS spacewalk, and Parmitano, who will be EV2, performed the three previous spacewalks to repair the spectrometer, which is searching for dark matter and antimatter in the universe using the station’s unique location and capabilities for scientific research.

The spacewalks will be the 225th, 226th and 227th in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

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