News Release, NASA

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir
NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir Credits: NASA

NASA astronautsChristina KochandJessica Meirwill venture outside the space station at 7:50 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 or Friday, Oct. 18. Live coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Space station managers have postponed three spacewalks previously scheduled for this and next week to install new batteries in order to first replace a faulty battery charge/discharge unit (BCDU). The BCDU failed to activate following the Oct. 11 installation of new lithium-ion batteries on the space station’s truss. The three spacewalks previously planned to continue the installation of additional lithium-ion batteries will be rescheduled.

The BCDU failure has not impacted station operations, the safety of the crew, or the ongoing experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory, many in preparation for future human missions to the Moon and Mars. The station’s overall power supply, which is fed by four sets of batteries and solar arrays, remains sufficient for all operations. However, the faulty power unit does prevent a set of batteries installed earlier this month from providing increased station power.

The BCDU’s regulates the amount of charge put into the batteries that collect energy from the station’s solar arrays to power station systems during periods when the station orbits during a nighttime pass around Earth. Two other charge/discharge units on the affected 2B power channel did activate as planned and are providing power to station systems.

This will be Koch’s fourth spacewalk and Meir’s first. Watch video of the two discussing the possibility of conducting a spacewalk together at:


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David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...