NASA astronauts finished a multi-year project to redesign batteries on the ISS

At the point when NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover went on a spacewalk on February 1st, they wrapped up a multi-year exertion to supplant the aging nickel hydrogen batteries on the ISS with new lithium-ion models. The International Space Station Program approved the improvement of lithium-ion batteries to supplant the station’s aging power storage system back in 2011. Battery creation began in 2014, and the first lithium—ion replacements traveled to the station on board JAXA’s Kounotori 6 resupply trip in December 2016. Presently, four years after that flight and 14 spacewalks with 13 different astronauts later, the upgrade is at last total.

Ground controllers used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to position some of the batteries for installation. Nonetheless, some necessary extra spacewalks for the locations the arm couldn’t reach. The batteries aren’t exactly similar to the lithium-ion we’re utilized to, with their space-grade lithium-ion cells and radiant barrier shield. Since lithium-ion technology has more prominent energy density than nickel-hydrogen, just 24 new batteries were expected to supplant the 48 old ones.

The ISS utilizes batteries to store energy saddled from the sun with its solar panels, and it takes advantage of those reserves each time it doesn’t have access to sunlight. What’s more, that happens often, since the station passes between sunlight and darkness every 45 minutes. That stored power is important to keep everything dealing with the ISS, including the station’s life support systems. Besides giving the station a lot—required power, the batteries could likewise give us the knowledge expected to improve lithium-ion security.

Since this specific update is finished, the ISS program will move its concentration to supplant the station’s solar arrays. Six new arrays will be flying onboard SpaceX trips throughout the next few years to supplant the current ones close to the furthest limit of their 15-year life expectancy.