In a recent development, a couple of spacewalking astronauts cut into a cosmic ray detector for the repair work, on Friday. The event marks the second consecutive weeks of the repair work. The two astronauts will transplant a coolant pump in the cosmic ray detector worth 2 billion USD.
The current repair work marks the second out of the four planned repair work of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. If the operations were successful, the lifespan of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer would increase significantly. The Spectrometer is extremely important for the research on dark energy, dark matter, and antimatter.
Luca Parmitano, an Italian astronaut, and Drew Morgan, his NASA crewmate, started their work at 07.02 a.m. EST. The recent spacewalk is the 10th official walk in the current year and overall 223rd since the beginning of the assembly work of International Space Station in 1998.
The Spectrometer placed on the right side of International Space Station and not meant to be repaired by the spacewalking astronauts. As a result, experts are claiming that the recent development is the most challenging one since the service work of Hubble Space Telescope.
The History of Repair Work
On the first outing, the astronomers completed several necessary repair works, such as removing the debris shield from the AMS, installing handrails, and cutting coolant lines, which were scheduled for the next outing.
During the second outing, both the astronomers established data cables- necessary for the coolant pump module. They also installed a mounting bracket to hold the pump package in its own place. They cut at least eight smaller pipes, those carrying CO2 to the instrument.
The Spectrometer, having a whopping weight of more than seven-ton, was placed in the International Space Station in 2011. The shifting marks the final mission carried out by Endeavour. If the repair work went successful, the device would work for another seven to ten years, scientists revealed.