WASHINGTON — Two NASA astronauts successfully replaced a faulty battery charger during the agency’s first all-female spacewalk Oct. 18, an event that at times appeared to go better in orbit than on the ground.
NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir spent seven hours and 17 minutes outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk, carrying out their primary task of replacing a battery charge/discharge unit (BCDU) on one end of the station’s truss. Controllers confirmed during the spacewalk that a spare BCDU installed in place of the faulty unit was working properly.
NASA announced Oct. 15 that it was rescheduling a series of spacewalks that started Oct. 6 to replace batteries that are part of the station’s power supply after the BCDU unit failed to turn back on after the second in that series of five spacewalks Oct. 11. Koch and Meir, who had been scheduled to perform a spacewalk together Oct. 21 as part of the battery swap process, were instead assigned to this new spacewalk to replace the BCDU.
The remaining battery swap spacewalks have been postponed for up to a few weeks to allow engineers to study why this unit failed, and if it’s related to ...