U.S. astronauts Chris Cassidy and flight engineer Bob Behnken are preparing for the upcoming two open space missions aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to continue the modernization of its energy system, NASA reports.
Astronauts will go out into space on June 26 and July 1 to replace another group of obsolete nickel-hydrogen batteries that accumulate and distribute energy collected from solar panels with new, more powerful lithium-ion batteries.
Current ISS Commander Cassidy and flight engineer Behnken, who arrived at the station at the end of May on the new U.S. manned Crew Dragon from SpaceX, have already fitted the spacesuits.
The work will be carried out on the S6 support segment of the ISS farm, to which solar panels are attached. The replacement of batteries on the right side of the farm began last year and was continued in January.
In general, the renewal of the power supply system of the plant began in January 2017. Complex repair work was carried out both on the starboard and port side of the farm structure.
The new batteries were delivered to the ISS in May by the Japanese cargo ship HTV.
At present, Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner and American astronauts Chris Cassidy, Douglas Hurley, and Robert Behnken work onboard the ISS.