NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Anne McClain successfully fitted new batteries to the power system of the International Space Station (ISS) during an EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) on 22 March.  McClain led the six hour 39 minute long spacewalk as the EV1 command astronaut.  The hatch was opened at 1158 GMT.

Spacewalking NASA astronauts McClain (red stripes) and Hague go about their work. Courtesy: NASA

The operation was part of a procedure to replace six Nickel Hydrogen types on truss P4 with new Lithium Ion batteries including suitable adapters and cabling. Three new Lithium Ion batteries are already in place via the space station’s robot arm, and these had to be connected up via the adapters and cabling.

The hatch was closed at 1837 GMT and repressurisation achieved three minutes later (times via Jonathan McDowell).

A follow up spacewalk to install further batteries, which was also planned to be the first “all woman” EVA involving Anne McClain and Christina Koch, has had to be  scrapped as there were not enough “Medium” upper body suits ready.

Update on 1 April 2019: While the “all woman” EVA had to be cancelled due to lack of suitably sized spacesuits, a spacewalk involving Nick Hague and Christina Koch did go ahead on 29 March 2019.  After depressurisation of the airlock, the hatch was opened at 1139 GMT.  The EVA continued with the installation of adapter plates and the installation and connection of a new Nickel Hydrogen battery.  The hatch was closed at 1821 GMT with pressurisation of the airlock completed about seven minutes after that.