Boeing-made batteries installed at International Space Station

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The second all-female spacewalk in history is in the books. Astronauts installed important equipment to keep the International Space Station powered.

That equipment was made here in Huntsville.

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir suited up and floated out of the International Space Station again – making NASA’s first spacewalk of 2020 the second all-female spacewalk in history.

“The current EVA today is to replace batteries,” said Boeing’s ISS chief engineer Karl Keiser. “There are 24 total.”

EVA stands for “extravehicular activity.” In other words – a mission outside the protection of the ISS. Their mission today – to replace batteries that store solar power. The original batteries launched with the space station in 1998.

“Like most rechargeable batteries, these batteries have a lifetime,” said Keiser. “The ones on the original space station are well beyond their life.”

The new lithium-ion batteries are half the size with twice the power, and Boeing engineers in Huntsville made them.

“They should provide the ISS energy for its future foreseeable needs,” said Keiser.

Koch and Meir spent hours outside the ISS today, but they’re not done yet. If all goes as planned, they’ll make the third all-female spacewalk in history Monday, January 20 to finish the mission.

Today’s mission marked the 225th spacewalk for assembly and maintenance on the International Space Station.

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