A nest of genetically-engineered mice, a research study to observe the behavior of fires in space, and an experiment that could lead to brewing beer in microgravity are among more than 5,700 pounds of cargo inside a SpaceX Dragon capsule awaiting launch from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station Thursday.
After prepping their patient — a $2 billion cosmic ray detector — during two earlier spacewalks, two space station astronauts ventured back outside for a third outing Monday to carry out what amounted to transplant surgery, installing replacement coolant pumps in a bid to revive the costly instrument and extend its life.
Two astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station Friday for the first of four spacewalks to repair a $2 billion cosmic ray detector, breezing through work to prep the device for invasive surgery to splice in new coolant pumps and extend the instrument’s life probing the composition of the universe.
After four years of brainstorming, custom tool development and training, two astronauts plan to venture outside the International Space Station Friday for the first of four spacewalks to repair a $2 billion cosmic ray detector. The excursions are considered the most challenging since work to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
The next three-man crew to launch on a Soyuz rocket — comprising two Russian cosmonauts and a veteran NASA astronaut — is training to have the International Space Station to themselves after their arrival at the orbiting research outpost in April, at least until new U.S. commercial crew ships enter service.