ALL NEWS

NASA astronauts upgrade space station systems during 300th US spacewalk

Jul 21, 2020, 1:00 PM
BYU NASA...
FILE: Astronaut Ed White during the first American spacewalk. BYU students will see their hard work go into space with NASA in the near future. (Photo: NASA)
(Photo: NASA)

(CNN) — NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken conducted a spacewalk early Tuesday morning outside of the International Space Station to upgrade station systems. It was the 300th spacewalk by US astronauts, according to NASA.

The spacewalk began at 7:12 a.m. ET and ended at 12:41 p.m. ET, after five and a half hours.

During the spacewalk, Cassidy and Behnken installed a protection unit used to store tools for the Canadian Space Agency’s Dextre robot, as well as two Robotic External Leak Locator units. Dextre can use these to detect ammonia leaks. Ammonia is used in the station’s cooling system.

Working on the station’s backbone, the astronauts also removed two fixtures at the base of the station’s solar arrays that were used prior to launch.

The astronauts prepared the Tranquility module for the NanoRacks commercial airlock, which will arrive at the station on a SpaceX cargo flight later this year. The airlock will assist with deploying experiments.

During their work on the module, the astronauts discovered foreign orbital debris, which they removed using a scraper.

They also routed ethernet cables and removed a lens filter cover on an external camera.

A future spacewalk later this year will complete power system upgrades to the space station by replacing one lithium ion battery installed in 2019 that shorted out.

It will be the culmination of the power system upgrades to the space station that have occurred over the last three and a half years to replace 48 aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with 24 new lithium-ion batteries.

These power system upgrades, however, are nothing like replacing batteries in your television remote. The new batteries each have a mass of 428 pounds.

The upgrades have required 11 spacewalks since January 2017, so far, to replace the batteries.

Both astronauts are veteran spacewalkers. This was the 10th venture outside for both Cassidy and Behnken, according to NASA. This puts them in a tie with NASA astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria and Peggy Whitson for the most spacewalks by Americans.

Behnken, along with NASA astronaut Doug Hurley, launched from the United States and joined Cassidy on the space station on May 31. They were aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon during the Demo-2 mission.

Last week, the agency announced that Behnken and Hurley will return on the SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on August 2.

During the spacewalk, Behnken will be crewmember 1 in the spacesuit with red stripes and Cassidy will be crewmember 2 in the suit with no stripes.

Hurley helped Cassidy and Behnken into their spacesuits and will support the astronauts from inside the space station.

Although this is the 231st spacewalk in the history of assembling, maintaining, and upgrading the space station, it’s the 300th spacewalk involving US astronauts.

The first spacewalk by an American astronaut was conducted by NASA astronaut Ed White on June 3, 1965. He left the Gemini 4 capsule at 3:45 p.m. ET and remained outside of it for 23 minutes.

Gemini 4 circled the Earth 66 times in four days. During the spacewalk, White began over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and went back inside the capsule as they flew over the Gulf of Mexico.

He exited the spacecraft using a hand-held oxygen-jet gun to push himself out, attached to a 25-foot safety tether. NASA astronaut James McDivitt, on the mission with White, took photos of White in space from inside the capsule.

White later said the spacewalk was the most comfortable part of the mission and said the order to end it was the “saddest moment” of his life, according to NASA.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

crowded zion national park...
Mark Jones

Seasonal shuttle service, camping availability announced at Zion

Fall shuttle service into Zion National Park ended Sunday. It will resume for 10 days beginning on Dec. 23 and running through Jan. 1, 2023.
1 day ago
Groundbreaking dates for four temples in Latin America have been announced this week by the First P...
Mark Jones

Church announces locations for six previously announced temples

Locations for six previously announced temples were announced Monday by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1 day ago
vail resorts...
Elizabeth Weiler

Vail Resorts facing million dollar lawsuit after a Utah bowling alley incident

PARK CITY, Utah — After a bowling incident during a company party, a jury is ordering Vail Resorts’ Mountain activities to pay over $2 million for a personal injury that caused extensive surgeries.  In April, according to a case overview, Jupiter Bowl hosted a team party for Vail employees. During the party, Vail Resorts’ employees […]
1 day ago
Utah Naloxone...
Devin Oldroyd

Utah Naloxone and law enforcement reach milestone in preventing overdose deaths

Utah Naloxone reports over 600 lives in Utah have been saved thanks to law enforcement's use of naloxone (Narcan®).
1 day ago
Photo of a Utah highway petrol vehicle...
Mark Jones

More than 1,500 motorists stopped for speeding over Thanksgiving weekend

The Utah Highway Patrol says more than 1,500 motorists were pulled over for speeding during the Thanksgiving weekend.
1 day ago
Primary Children's Medical Center has canceled some scheduled surgeries and other procedures this w...
Simone Seikaly

Citing rising RSV cases, Primary Children’s delaying some surgeries

Primary Children's is delaying pre-scheduled and non-emergency procedures that would require an inpatient stay.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
NASA astronauts upgrade space station systems during 300th US spacewalk