Yesterday shortly after 12:05 UTC two astronauts left International Space Station to perform upgrades to the station’s power system. To finish all planned objectives both astronauts spent yesterday 6.5 h in space.

Expedition 50 commander Shane Kimbrough and flight engineer Peggy Whitson both of NASA left Quest airlock yesterday to start second phase of modernization program of ISS power system. It was started in New Year Eve by flight controllers who remotely from the Johnson Space Center in Houston conducted operation of installation of three lithium-ion batteries in the integrated electronics assembly at the base of the starboard 4, or S4, set of solar arrays. Operation was conducted by the station’s robot arm.

Objective of modernization program is replacing 12 nickel-hydrogen batteries with six lithium-ion batteries, lighter and more efficient.

Next planned Extravehicular Activity with Kimbrough and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet is planned for 13th January 2017.