During the six-hour, 39-minute operation, NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Anne McClain replaced a set of outdated nickel-hydrogen batteries with more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel on one pair of the station's solar arrays.
As the inhabitants of Earth busied themselves with their daily lives far below, two NASA astronauts donned their spacesuits at the International Space Station this morning to begin a planned six-and-a-half hour space walk.
Friday's work is part of an ongoing effort to upgrade the space station's power system.
While the station uses solar panels, batteries help store that energy and provide power when the station is in the dark. Over the next couple of years, more batteries will be delivered and used to replace older batteries.
NASA Expedition 59 Flight Engineers Nick Hague of Hoxie, Kansas and Anne McClain concluded their spacewalk at 1:40 p.m. CDT Friday.
Hague and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency are scheduled to conduct a third spacewalk April 8 to lay out jumper cables between the Unity module and the S0 truss, at the midpoint of the station's backbone. Another six will be installed both today and during a spacewalk set for next week.
Flight controllers remotely operating the station's robot arm had already removed four of the older nickel-hydrogen batteries and installed three of the new lithium-ion batteries in slots one, three and five.
With that work done, flight controllers would be free to bring power channel 4A back into the station's electrical grid.