Two NASA flight engineers completed the first spacewalk this year on the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday to enhance the space laboratory's energy system.
The spacewalk by Nick Hague and Anne McClain lasted six hours and 39 minutes, ending at 2:40 pm Eastern time according to NASA.
The two astronauts replaced nickel-hydrogen batteries with three newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel of a pair of the station's solar arrays.
They installed adapter plates and then the electrical connections were connected to the starboard truss, as NASA's live webstream showed.
The batteries were transported to the station in September 201
The batteries store the energy generated by the station's solar arrays. According to NASA, it will power the station when the station is out of sunlight, as it orbits the earth during the night of the night.
They also worked to remove debris from outside the station.
McClain and another woman Flight engineer Christina Koch wants to go outside this Friday to replace the batteries on another power channel. It will be the first spacewalk for women only.
Additional batteries will be replaced in the next few years as part of this upgrade, as new batteries are being delivered to the station, according to NASA.
(Picture above): NASA astronauts Nick Hague (top) and Anne McClain are working to replace the batteries in the Port-4 truss structure during the spacewalk on March 22, 2019. (NASA Photo)