Watch live: Jessica Meir, Christina Koch ready for first 2020 spacewalk

Jan. 15 (UPI) — NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will continue work to replace old batteries on the International Space Station’s Port-6 truss during the first spacewalk of 2020, scheduled to begin at 6:50 a.m. ET.

Last October, Koch and Meir became the first two women to complete a spacewalk together. During the historic spacewalk, the two astronauts replaced a broken power controller, also known as a battery charge-discharge unit, or BCDU.

On Wednesday, the duo will venture outside ISS for a second time, this time to replace batteries that store and distribute the power produced by the space station’s solar panels.

The first spacewalk of the new year will be broadcast live by NASA TV, with coverage starting at 5:30 a.m. ET.

Wednesday’s spacewalk is the first of two battery replacement missions, during which Koch and Meir will remove aging nickel-hydrogen batteries and install new, more efficient lithium-ion batteries. The second spacewalk is scheduled for Jan. 20.

A third spacewalk, scheduled for Jan. 25, will feature NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan and Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency. The two astronauts will complete the thermal repair work on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer that they commenced last year.

On Tuesday, while Koch and Meir prepared for Wednesday’s spacewalk, Morgan and Parmitano worked on several science experiments.

“The astronauts took turns safely burning fabric and acrylic samples to help scientists understand how flames spread in space,” NASA reported. “Results may inform the design of fire safety products and procedures on Earth and in space. The two crew mates also drew their blood samples, spinning them in a centrifuge for later analysis.”

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