This morning two astronauts from NASA successfully completed their first two upgrade spacewalk. Shane Kimbrough, the mission Expedition 50 Commander and Peggy Whitson, the flight Engineer for Expedition 50 successfully concluded their spacewalk at 1:55 p.m. EST.
During the long six hours and 32 minutes spacewalk, these two NASA astronauts were successful in installing three new adapter plates in the mission. They also effectively captivated the electrical connections for three out of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station (ISS). Shane and Peggy also accomplished several left out tasks of the mission, including a photo survey of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.
Shane Kimbrough and another Flight Engineer for the same mission, Thomas Pesquest of European Space Agency (ESA) will conduct their second spacewalk. The second spacewalk is scheduled on January 13, 2017, Friday. NASA Television will be showing the entire coverage, starting from 5:30 AM onwards.
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. This battery helped to store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. Robotic work for the updating of the batteries began in January. This was the first of two spacewalks planned to finalize the installation of Expedition 50.
Yet once again, Shane Kimbrough will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1). He will be wearing a suit bearing red stripes for the fourth spacewalk of his career. Whereas the new flight engineer, Thomas Pesquet will be making his first spacewalk of his career. He will be extravehicular crew member 2, and will wear a suit with no stripes.
NASA’s Space station crew members have conducted as many as 196 spacewalks, in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers, so far have now spent a total of 1,224 hours and 6 minutes working outside the station for the completion of the mission.