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NASA, ESA astronauts install new lithium ion batteries on ISS

By Ryan Maass
NASA, ESA astronauts install new lithium ion batteries on ISS
Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet installed a total of six new lithium ion batteries during the six-hour spacewalk. Image courtesy of NASA/Twitter

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Astronauts from NASA and the European Space Agency conducted a spacewalk to install new lithium ion batteries aboard the International Space Station.

The spacewalk was conducted by NASA's Shane Kimbrough and ESA's Thomas Pesquet. The event marked the fourth spacewalk for Kimbrough, and the first for Pesquet. The operation began at approximately 7:00 a.m. EST.

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In addition to installing new batteries, the astronauts also stowed old nickel-hydrogen batteries for disposal.

Kimbrough and Pesquet installed a total of six new batteries during the spacewalk. The operation was initially expected to last six hours.

A spacewalk refers to any event when an astronaut exists a vehicle while in space, first performed by a Soviet cosmonaut in 1965. Spacewalks can be conducted for many reasons, including maintenance work, equipment testing or experiments.

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