пятница, 8 ноября 2019 г.

Luca to lead most challenging spacewalks since Hubble repairs

ESA - Beyond Mission patch / EVA - Extra Vehicular Activities patch.

Nov. 8, 2019

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano

The date is set for ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano’s first spacewalk of his Beyond mission. Friday 15 November marks the start of a series of complex spacewalks to service the cosmic-particle-hunting Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02).

It is the first time a European astronaut will take a leading role and the full spacewalk will be streamed live via ESA Web TV.

Location of AMS-02 on the International Space Station

Luca and his spacewalking partner NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan will exit the International Space Station airlock at around 13:05 CET (12:05 GMT). The spacewalking series is expected to be the most challenging since work to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

As the lead spacewalker, known as ‘EV1’, Luca will wear a white spacesuit with red stripes while Andrew wears the white spacesuit with no stripes.

The pair will be supported by NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir who will operate the Canadarm2 robotic arm from inside the Station. This will help position the astronauts around their hard-to-reach work site, located on top of the Station’s S3 Truss structure between a pair of solar arrays and radiators.

The entire spacewalk is expected to take around six hours and it will set the scene for at least three more.

The hardware

AMS-02 records the number and characteristics of cosmic ray particles that pass through all of its detectors – over 140 billion particles to date. By tracking down the sources of these particles, scientists aim to gain a better understanding of dark matter and the origins of the Universe.