In a new extra vehicular activity (EVA) session on 8 April, more colloquially known as a spacewalk, two astronauts had to change a recently fitted battery on the International Space Station (ISS) which was proving defective. The Lithium Ion battery which had been fitted on an earlier spacewalk on 22 March, had a defective battery charge-discharge unit (BCDU) and had to be removed along with an adapter plate.  Thus one of the the old Ni-H2 batteries it was supposed to replace, had to be put back.

The sun could soon be setting on the career of the International Space Station (ISS). Courtesy: NASA

After the airlock was depressurised the hatch was opened at 1126 GMT. NASA astronaut and EV1 lead spacewalker Anne McClean, and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques as EV2 made this change with the help of the ISS Canadarm-2 robot arm which also put back the old battery after the spacewalk. In addition they also installed back up power lines to the robot arm and installed ethernet cabling. After closing the airlock hatch repressurisation took place at 1800 GMT.  All times via Jonathan McDowell.

Post Script:  Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin has again expressed Russia’s willingness to continue with the International Space Station after NASA, and its partners ESA, JAXA and Canadian Space Agency have left the programme in 2025.  Nevertheless, it is unclear where the necessary funding would come from.