This is my first article covering NASA and its exploration. I have been a huge and an ardent fan of NASA since I was a child, I remember seeing their missions take off from Florida, its visuals from the International Space Station and the amazing research work that goes on in the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab had been a regular sight for me while I was growing up. The most spectacular moment was the Voyager spacecraft sending the never seen before pictures of outer space. And, how I believed that some aliens will visit us soon if they explore the Voyager Spacecraft. Almost every weekend, I would leave all other activities and switch on Discovery or Nat Geo to watch these shows.
Over, a period, as space became more accessible to various countries and mankind in general, my curiosity has increased proportionately.
So, coming back to my main article, today’s piece is about one of an amazing marvel that is revolving in our orbit, The International Space Station, or the ISS. It is the product of immense, relentless hard work and high caliber research undertaken by about two dozen countries and half a dozen space agencies all around the world. At any given time, there has been at least one person aboard the ISS, since the year of its inception. This indirectly, means that whatever repairs or damages or attention it needs, our astronauts have to carry them out from the vehicle itself. So now, we have two American astronauts who are here to repair damage onboard the ISS, this week. Their names are Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken.
So, the repair they are going to undertake has been in the pipeline us from around the past four years or so. They would be conducting a spacewalk to give the final touches of the much-needed upgrade to the ISS. This event shall take place on the 16th of July and 21st of July. These spacewalks would last up to seven hours as quoted by NASA. Their main task is to replace the old and weary Nickel Hydrogen batteries with a new pair of Lithium-ion batteries; these are more efficient, which were delivered to the ISS in May by a Japanese Cargo ship.
These replacements will be done on the starboard 6 power channel. After the battery replacement, necessary hardware changes will also take place. The last time this battery change took place was way back in the year 1965. US astronauts Ed White and Cassidy ventured out in what was the 300th spacewalk out of their Gemini 4 capsule. These are used to rout electricity onboard the Station.
A little introduction about the astronauts before I bid adieu, Cassidy reached the International Space Station in April and took over the control of their 63rd Expedition. Behnken, a flight engineer, arrived in May from SpaceX’s famed Falcon Test Flight.