Astronauts honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and replace ISS batteries on 3rd all-woman spacewalk | 1/20/2020 | Robert Z. Pearlman
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HOUSTON — Two astronauts completed battery replacements and honored the legacy of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. while working outside of the International Space Station on what marked the third all-woman spacewalk today (Jan. 20).

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch performed their third extravehicular activity (EVA, or spacewalk) as a pair, completing upgrades to one of the space station’s four power channels. The two made history on their first EVA together in October, as the first two women to work in the vacuum of space together.

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"This has really been an amazing experience, being part of this Expedition 61 EVA team," said Meir. "Today is also Martin Luther King Day, a personal hero for both me and Christina. I will borrow his wise words for this moment: 'We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.'"

"When one has as spectacular view as we had today looking down on our one common home, planet Earth, his words resonate loudly," Meir said once back inside the airlock at the end of the spacewalk.

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"We often say how much we owe to those who paved the way, and that doesn't just mean in spaceflight. It also means those who worked for civil rights and inclusion,” added Koch. "That is why it is so meaningful for us today to be out here on this day we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., who paved the way, not only for us, but for so many that have a dream."

During today's 6-hour and 58-minute spacewalk, Meir and Koch removed two old nickel-hydrogen batteries that since 2010 have stored power for the far port, or left side, solar arrays mounted to the station's backbone truss and replaced them with a more capable lithium-ion battery. The two also installed two adapter plates...
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