On February 2, 2023, two spacewalkers successfully completed a construction job to upgrade the power system of the International Space Station (ISS). The spacewalkers, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov, spent six and a half hours outside the station installing new batteries and making electrical connections.
The power upgrade was part of a series of maintenance and improvement projects aimed at ensuring the continued operation of the ISS. The station relies on solar panels to generate electricity, but the new batteries provide backup power when the panels are not in direct sunlight. The upgraded power system will provide the ISS with more reliable electricity, helping to ensure the safety and comfort of the astronauts living and working on the station.
The spacewalk was the fourth for Kimbrough and the first for Ryzhikov. Both spacewalkers trained extensively on Earth to prepare for the task, which involved maneuvering in the weightless environment of space while wearing bulky spacesuits.
The ISS has been continuously occupied by astronauts since 2000, and it has been a collaborative effort between multiple countries, including the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada. The station serves as a unique platform for conducting scientific research, testing new technologies, and demonstrating international cooperation in space.
The successful completion of this construction job is a testament to the skill and dedication of the spacewalkers and the teams on the ground who support them. The upgraded power system will help the ISS continue its important work, and it is a step towards ensuring that the station remains a vital part of our exploration and understanding of space.