Astronauts Complete Intricate Tasks During Second Cosmic Repair Spacewalk

Astronauts Complete Intricate Tasks During Second Cosmic Repair Spacewalk

Spacewalker Luca Parmitano on the Canadarm2 robotic arm
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.

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. 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.

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Mark Garcia

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Spacewalkers Begin Second Excursion to Repair Cosmic Particle Detector

Spacewalkers Begin Second Excursion to Repair Cosmic Particle Detector

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano is pictured attached to the Canadarm2 robotic arm during the first spacewalk to repair the International Space Station’s cosmic particle detector.

Two astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 7:02 a.m. EST aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about six-and-a-half hours. Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan will venture outside the International Space Station for the second in a series of complex spacewalks to replace a cooling system on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a cosmic ray detector.

Parmitano is designated extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit with red stripes, and with the helmet camera labeled #11. Morgan is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes, and with helmet camera #18.

In addition to revitalizing an important piece of scientific equipment, the process of creating the tools and procedures for these spacewalks is preparing teams for the types of spacewalks that may be required on Moon and Mars missions. The tools include plumbing instruments to cut into the cooling lines, new screwdriver bits and devices to capture the fasteners the astronauts remove from AMS. Learn more about the unique tools developed for the spacewalks to repair AMS.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates online. Learn more about the International Space Station online, including additional information about the current crew members.

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Mark Garcia

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Final Spacewalk Preps as Life Science Work Ramps Up

Final Spacewalk Preps as Life Science Work Ramps Up

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan waves
NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan waves as he is photographed during the first spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on Nov. 15, 2019.

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.

Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch will assist the spacewalkers during the excursion from inside the station on Friday. Meir will be on robotics duty maneuvering the Canadarm2 robotic arm while Koch manages their spacesuits.

Even with spacewalk activities dominating the schedule aboard the orbiting lab, the station crew still had time to conduct advanced space research. Meir set up a 3-D bioprinter for a test run today before the device begins manufacturing complex organ-like tissues in space. Koch is readying a variety of life science gear for next week’s operations to study how microgravity affects systems at the cellular level for insights into Earth-bound ailments.

The cosmonauts in the Russian segment of the space station focused primarily on lab maintenance. Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka replaced batteries and dust filters. The duo then packed the Progress 72 (72P) resupply ship with trash and repressurized the station with oxygen from the 72P.

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Mark Garcia

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Space Biology, Human Research in Middle of Spacewalk Preps

Space Biology, Human Research in Middle of Spacewalk Preps

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano is pictured attached to the Canadarm2 robotic arm during the first spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

The Expedition 61 crew is gearing up for another complex spacewalk this Friday while juggling an array of advanced science duties today. Three new tiny satellites were also deployed from the International Space Station, continuing to expand the opportunities for space research and technology demonstrations.

Spacewalkers Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano are finalizing their review of the intricate work necessary to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s (AMS) thermal control system. NASA astronaut Jessica Meir is brushing up on the Canadarm2 robotic arm maneuvers she will use to support the second AMS repair excursion. Live television coverage of this year’s 10th spacewalk begins Friday at 5:30 a.m. EST on NASA TV.

NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch spent the majority of her time today on human research and space biology studies. Koch attached sensors to herself and a worked out on an exercise cycle to measure her aerobic output. She then gathered hardware to begin studying microgravity’s impact on cells for the development of potential therapies for Earth and space-bound ailments.

Morgan installed a new incubator that creates artificial gravity to study cells and plants inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. Meir serviced microbe samples for DNA sequencing before installing a science freezer inside Kibo’s Life Sciences Glovebox. Parmitano photographed CubeSats ejected into Earth orbit from Kibo’s satellite deployer this morning.

Radiation checks and cardiology research were the focus over in the Russian segment of the orbiting lab today. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Alexander Skvortsov explored how weightlessness affects the heartbeat and blood flow after exploring advanced Earth photography techniques. Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka collected a variety of radiation detectors and downloaded measurements taken from the U.S. side of the space station.

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Mark Garcia

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Agriculture and Disease Studies Ahead of Next Spacewalk

Agriculture and Disease Studies Ahead of Next Spacewalk

NASA astronauts (from left ) Jessica Meir and Christina Koch
NASA astronauts (from left ) Jessica Meir and Christina Koch are at the robotics workstation controlling the Canadarm2 robotic arm to support the first spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

Today’s biology research aboard the International Space Station is helping scientists improve the health of astronauts in space and people on Earth. The Expedition 61 crew is also deploying a set of tiny satellites on Wednesday while getting ready for another spacewalk on Friday.

Flight Engineer Jessica Meir of NASA fed mice and watered plants today supporting a pair of long-running life science experiments. The rodent research study aims for cellular-level insights into diseases like cancer and diabetes to provide advanced therapies. The botany investigation explores the nutritional and morale-boosting benefits of growing fresh food in space.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan recorded themselves with a 3-D video camera setting up gear that will deploy three small satellites outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. The deployer will eject the CubeSats in Earth orbit Wednesday morning to demonstrate technologies developed by several Asian nations.

Morgan and ESA (European Space Agency) commander Luca Parmitano are reviewing the tasks they will perform during this Friday’s spacewalk. They are continuing the intricate thermal control system repairs of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, the station’s cosmic particle detector. Meir joined the duo at the end of the day and practiced the Canadarm2 robotics maneuvers to necessary support the spacewalkers.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka set up communications gear ahead of next month’s arrival of a Russian resupply ship. The duo also worked on station plumbing tasks before setting atmospheric observation gear.

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Mark Garcia

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