Spacewalking Astronauts Upgrading Orbiting Lab’s Power Grid

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts are taking another spacewalk to plug in new and better batteries outside the International Space Station.

It’s the same type of job that was conducted last Friday 250 miles up. This Friday, commander Shane Kimbrough was back at it. But he was joined by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

The spacewalkers will plug in three lithium-ion batteries, the latest in space tech. That’s on top of three hooked up last week.

Just like last week, the station’s robotic handyman saved the spacewalkers considerable time by removing the old nickel-hydrogen batteries in advance and positioning the new ones. The long-armed robot is named Dextre, short for dexterous.

NASA says the lithium-ion batteries are critical long-term upgrades to the station’s solar power system.

Pesquet is the first French spacewalker in 15 years.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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