International Space Station Now Mounting Japan's Iithium-ion Batteries
Three Iithium-ion batteries delivered by Japan's space transfer vehicle "Konotori" last month for use on the International Space Station are now being installed outside the station by six US astronauts, 21:30 January 6.
There will eventually be 48 Iithium-ion batteries altogether to generate power via the solar panels to feed the entire space station. The batteries are liable to deteriorate and need to be replaced in due course.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, had decided to replace all the 24 batteries with more efficient Japanese batteries, and the first 6 were delivered last year via Konotori No.6.
The astronauts go out of the station, proceed along the outer walls to the power generation unit near the solar panel and replace three batteries this time. The operation should take six hours or so to complete.
This is the first time for Japan-made equipment to be adopted for the vital part of the station. The batteries are to function the moment they are installed.
The operation will continue on January 13, and the remaining 18 batteries are to be delivered via Konotori in the course of three years.
Konotori, so named after white stork, is built to supply Japan's experiment module Kibo and the International Space Station (ISS). Konotori No.6 was launched off Tanegashima on December 9, 2016, to discharge the current mission.
Konotori transports up to 6 tons of cargo, the largest among its counterparts. The cool point is Japan exceeds both in the vehicle to transport and the vital products to deliver e.g. the Iithium-ion batteries this time which provide the space station's main power supply. (Nathan Shiga)