Astronauts Wrap Up Third Spacewalk for Cosmic Particle Detector Repairs

Astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan are pictured during a spacewalk to continue upgrading the station’s cosmic particle detector, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan concluded their spacewalk at 12:33 p.m. EST. During the six hour and two minute spacewalk, the two astronauts successfully installed a new cooling system for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS).

The crew completed the primary task to install the upgraded cooling system, called the upgraded tracker thermal pump system (UTTPS), completed the power and data cable connection for the system, and connected all eight cooling lines from the AMS to the new system. The intricate connection work required making a clean cut for each existing stainless steel tube connected to the AMS then connecting it to the new system through a process of metalworking known as swaging.

The astronauts also completed an additional task to install an insulating blanket on the nadir side of the AMS to replace the heat shield and blanket they removed during the first spacewalk to begin the repair work. The flight control team on Earth initiated power-up of the system and confirmed it is receiving power and data.

It is the first long day of a very busy several weeks for the space station crew, with two cargo resupply spacecraft launching to the station loaded with science investigations; a SpaceX Dragon is scheduled to lift off at 12:51 p.m. Wednesday, and a Russian Progress is set to launch Friday at 4:34 a.m. Crew members then will be focused on the spacecrafts’ arrivals and associated work.

Meanwhile, teams on Earth will evaluate the date for the planned fourth spacewalk to conduct leak checks for the spectrometer’s refurbished cooling lines and complete the work to resume operations of the cosmic ray detector.

For more information about the AMS science and spacewalks, listen to the recent podcasts:

Parmitano has now conducted five spacewalks in his career for a total of 26 hours and 53 minutes, and Morgan has logged 39 hours and 32 minutes during six spacewalks since his arrival on the station in July. It was the 11th spacewalk at the station this year.

Space station crew members have conducted a total of 224 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 58 days 15 hours and 43 minutes working outside the station.

Learn more about space station activities by following @space_station  and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Astronauts Complete Intricate Tasks During Second Cosmic Repair Spacewalk

Spacewalker Luca Parmitano is guided on the Canadarm2 robotic arm toward the work site on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, the space station’s cosmic particle detector. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan concluded their spacewalk at 1:35 p.m. EST. During the six-hour and 33-minute spacewalk, the two astronauts successfully cut a total of eight stainless steel tubes, including one that vented the remaining carbon dioxide from the old cooling pump on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). The crew members also prepared a power cable and installed a mechanical attachment device in advance of installing the new cooling system.

Today’s work clears the way for Parmitano and Morgan’s next spacewalk in the repair series Monday Dec. 2. The plan is to bypass the old thermal control system by attaching a new one off the side of AMS during the third spacewalk, and then conduct leak checks on a fourth spacewalk.

For more on the AMS science and spacewalks, listen to the recent podcasts:

Space station crew members have conducted 223 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 58 days 9 hours and 41 minutes working outside the station. Parmitano has now conducted three spacewalks in his career and Morgan has now logged four spacewalks since his arrival on the station in July.

Keep up with the crew aboard the International Space Station on the agency’s blog, follow @ISS on Instagram, and @space_station on Twitter.

Second AMS Repair Spacewalk Set for Friday Morning

This picture, photographed during the spacewalk conducted on July 12, 2011, shows the International Space Station with space shuttle Atlantis docked at right. In the center foreground is the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment installed during the STS-134 mission. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The Expedition 61 astronauts are in final preparations before Friday’s spacewalk to continue repairing the International Space Station’s cosmic particle detector. The orbital residents also had time today to set up research hardware for upcoming space biology activities.

Spacewalkers Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano will exit the Quest airlock on Friday after setting their U.S. spacesuits to battery power at 6:50 a.m. EST. The duo will translate to the far side of the station’s starboard truss structure to continue the intricate work to upgrade the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s (AMS) thermal control system. NASA TV begins its live coverage beginning at 5:30 a.m.

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Luca Parmitano to Lead Most Challenging Spacewalks Since Hubble Repairs

The second Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The date is set for ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano’s first spacewalk of his Beyond mission. Friday 15 November marks the start of a series of complex spacewalks to service the cosmic-particle-hunting Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02).

It is the first time a European astronaut will take a leading role and the full spacewalk will be streamed live via ESA Web TV from 12:50 CET (11:50 GMT).

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Cygnus Vehicle Delivers Crucial Components for Upcoming Spacewalks

The Cygnus NG-12 cargo vehicle hangs out after arriving to the International Space Station on 4 November. (Credit ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The Cygnus NG-12 cargo vehicle was berthed with the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday.

The latest resupply mission includes over 4 tonnes of science experiments, crew supplies, and station hardware. It also crucially includes components essential for the series of spacewalks taking place this month.

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A Series of Spacewalks Four Years in the Making Will Attempt to Revive a Scientific Experiment

This picture, photographed during the spacewalk conducted on July 12, 2011, shows the International Space Station with space shuttle Atlantis docked at right. In the center foreground is the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment installed during the STS-134 mission. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Many scientists theorize stars, planets and the molecules that comprise them are only less than five percent of the mass-energy content of the universe. The rest is dark matter, invisible matter that cannot be directly detected but can be inferred.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer – 02 (AMS-02) has been looking for evidence of this mysterious substance from the vantage point of the International Space Station since 2011. Designed for a three-year mission of sifting through cosmic ray particles, AMS records the number of particles that pass through all its detectors (over 140 billion particles to date), the type of particle and characteristics such as mass, velocity, charge and their direction of travel. The goal is for scientists to track down their sources to help understand dark matter and the origins of the universe.

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First of Six October Spacewalks Set for Sunday Morning

NASA astronauts Nick Hague (top) and Anne McClain work to swap batteries in the Port-4 truss structure during today’s spacewalk. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Two NASA astronauts will exit the station’s Quest airlock in their U.S. spacesuits on Sunday at 7:50 a.m. EDT for a six-and-half hour spacewalk. Veteran spacewalkers Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan will begin the work to install new lithium-ion batteries on the Port-6 truss structure.

This will be the first of five spacewalks in October to upgrade station power systems. Televised spacewalk coverage begins Sunday at 6:30 a.m.

Watch the spacewalk preview briefing that was broadcast Friday on NASA TV.

Upcoming spacewalk assignments:

Five more spacewalks are planned in November and December aimed at repairing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.