Parmitano spacewalk over - English

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 3, 2019

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano are back in the International Space Station after completing the third in a series of complex spacewalks aimed at fixing an experimental physics device created to detect antimatter in cosmic rays.

Spacewalking astronauts installed new pumps on a cosmic ray detector outside the International Space Station on Monday in a bid to extend its scientific life.

Then, the astronauts cooperated to install the cooling system called upgraded tracker thermal pump system, completed the power and data cable connection for the system, and connected all eight cooling lines from the AMS to the new system.

NASA compares this series of four spacewalks - the most complex since the Hubble Space Telescope missions - to a heart bypass operation, as they are created to bypass old degraded pumps. One more spacewalk remains before NASA can declare the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer successfully repaired.

The spectrometer flew up on space shuttle Endeavour's last mission in 2011. If the new plumbing holds, the instrument should last the entire life of the space station, or another five to 10 years.

The $ 2 billion spectrometer has never been designed for practical repairs like this one and was created to last only three years. To fix the instrument's broken cooling pumps, engineers had to develop special tools and send them to the space station.

The most challenging connection work required making a clean cut for each existing stainless steel tube connected to the AMS before connecting it to the new system through a process of metalworking known as swaging, according to NASA.

The installation will be checked during the next spacewalk. It features a thermal control system developed by Chinese scientists.

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