Second All-Female Spacewalk Wraps ISS Upgrade Amid Helmet Issue

Second All-Female Spacewalk Wraps ISS Upgrade Amid Helmet Issue

Second All-Female Spacewalk Wraps ISS Upgrade Amid Helmet Issue

Two NASA astronauts ventured out Wednesday on a second all-female spacewalk to finish upgrades to the International Space Station's power grid, but quickly ran into a helmet problem.

Meir and Koch conducted the first all-female spacewalk in October.

Meir earned a doctorate in marine biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD in 2009, according to her NASA bio.

Watch live video from the spacewalk below. "Koch is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes, and her helmet camera is labeled #18". "You're missing that additional protection".

Floating in the station's Quest airlock, the astronauts planned to switch their spacesuits to battery power around 6:50 a.m. ET, officially kicking off the 225th excursion devoted to station assembly and maintenance.

NASA is in the process of replacing all 48 of the space station's older-generation nickel-hydrogen batteries with 24 more powerful lithium-ion units, along with circuit-completing "adapter plates" to fill in for batteries that were removed but not replaced. Today, they'll be focusing on replacing batteries on solar arrays located outside of the orbiting laboratory.

Pigeon-inspired drone bends its wings to create it extra agile
Using the model, they designed the wings so that each feather in the PigeonBot would move in the same way as in a real pigeon. Then, when a bird tucks its wing back in, the feathers unlock automatically, like directional Velcro.

Meir and Koch have one last spacewalk next Monday. She is set to remain on the station until February 2020, which will make her time on the station the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

During the second half of the space walk, the pair of astronauts repeated their first steps, removing a second aging battery and installing a new one. Meir arrived at the space station in September.

Koch and Meir are included in the list of 12 women who could be the first female astronaut on the moon in 2024. She's acting as CapCom, or Capsule Communication, at Johnson Space Center in Houston. They all know each other well. Mission Control told them to just take it off, rather than waste any more time, and continue the spacewalk. Koch and Meir were the 13th and 14th, respectively. A little over an hour later, NASA reported that the duo had completed the installation work on a new lithium-ion battery.

The spectrometer is searching for dark matter and antimatter in the universe.

Wednesday's spacewalk was the first of two battery replacement missions.

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