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.
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus supply ship set for liftoff Saturday will deliver to the International Space Station the final hardware for a series of ambitious spacewalks later this month to install a new coolant system on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a $2 billion particle physics experiment seeking the cosmic signatures of dark matter and antimatter.
Technical problems discovered during ground testing of U.S.-built detectors for the European Space Agency’s Euclid astronomy mission will delay the completion of the telescope’s scientific payload, jeopardizing the observatory’s 2020 launch target, the head of NASA’s astrophysics division said last week.