The US space agency NASA has said that the International Space Station is now upgraded to the lithium-ion battery. It took more than 10 years to upgrade the ISS’ primary power system. Thirteen astronauts conducted 14 spacewalks to replace the old batteries. NASA said that the ISS used the nickel-hydrogen batteries since its launch. The task to upgrade the system started in 2009. A study was conducted to know the risk. The findings said that lithium-ion batteries can be used at the ISS. The program to develop the new battery was approved in 2011. The production started in 2014. In December 2016, the work commenced replacing the power storage system at the research facility.
NASA said that the upgrades will boost the space station’s capability. It will ensure uninterrupted support to astronauts for doing research and develop space technology for future missions. The lithium-ion battery is an advanced technology battery. It only uses lithium ions. It is popular for aerospace applications. The battery is mostly used for portable gadgets. It is also used extensively by car making companies in electric vehicles. It can deliver large amounts of power. The maintenance cost is very low. There is no need for scheduled cycling to maintain life. Their life is very long. Commercial production started in 1991.
Meanwhile, the ISS is now open for business activities. The ISS was launched in 1998. It serves as a base for space agencies to conduct experiments in low-Earth orbit. The latest achievement will help NASA to prepare for future long-duration missions including the Artemis program and then the Mars. NASA said that the new lithium-ion batteries were provided by Boeing. To install one lithium-ion battery and adapter plate at the ISS, astronauts replaced two nickel-hydrogen batteries. ISS orbits 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. It is the largest man-made body in low Earth orbit. The facility is so huge that humans can see it with the naked eye from Earth. Astronauts from 19 countries have visited the ISS since it began operations.