NASA Contracted with 787 Battery Supplier for Space Station Batteries

January 17, 2013

The Japanese company that supplied batteries implicated in two fires over the past week on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner won a contract last November to supply similar lithium ion batteries for use on the International Space Station.

GS Yuasa Lithium Power Inc., the Roswell, Ga.-based U.S. subsidiary of GS Yuasa of Kyoto, which supplies the lithium batteries used in the 787, announced on Nov. 29, 2012 that it had been awarded a contract by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to provide lithium ion battery cells to be used on the International Space Station. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has a NASA contract for the space station’s power systems.

GS Yuasa Lithium Power said Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne would integrate the cells into batteries that will replace nickel-hydrogen batteries. Those batteries currently power the space station when its solar panels are blocked from collecting energy from the sun. Such localized eclipses occur 35 minutes of every 90-minute orbit around the earth.

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