Wednesday’s spacewalk began at 7:13 p.m.
Both astronauts are veteran space astronauts. This is the eighth business outside of Cassidy and Behnken, according to NASA.
These space walkways are the culmination of a series of power upgrades that began in January 2017 to replace nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries.
This space walk, similar to the one that took place last Friday, will focus on replacing batteries for one of the power channels in the station’s remote support. As astronauts completed some of the tasks on this spacewalk last week, they will also focus on work planned for later spacewalks, power cables and ethernet, and work on other preparations for future upgrade systems.
These cables will provide better visibility for future space pedestrians, according to NASA.
These power system upgrades, however, are nothing like replacing batteries in your remote control. Each of the new batteries weighs 428 kg.
For this second spacewalk, Cassidy will be a member of crew I and will wear a suit that shows red stripes, while Behnken will serve as a member of crew II in a striped suit. Hurley and Russian cosmonaut Ivan Wagner will help Cassidy and Bechenken in their costumes. Hurley will operate the station’s robotic arm to support astronauts outside the station.
Battery replacements, which will last 20 years, will put the station in a much better position in the long run, said Kenneth Todd, deputy program director of the International Space Station, during a NASA press conference last week.
Behnken recently discussed the space shuttle and why it’s important to replace batteries during a call to the space station by CNN Innovation and Space Reporter Rachel Crane.
“When the space station is in the sun, it collects energy and has to store it when it’s in the dark,” he said. “And so these batteries, as they rotate over and over again, wear out and need to be replaced. And so many magazines that need maintenance.”
Behnken said he was looking forward to another spacewalk experience.
“I really look forward to the views of the Earth when we have a free moment,” he said. “I think every astronaut, when he goes on his first spacewalk, is really focused on trying to complete all the activities and do a good job, so they probably have a chance to do another one if the opportunity arises.
“But once you’ve made a couple and know what to expect as you go through it, it’s important, you know, to take some mental pictures, some mental pictures or remember what it was like to be out.”