Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Astronauts embark on spacewalk to repair, update space station cooling system

Two International Space Station astronauts underwent a space walk on Friday (November 22) to perform what NASA described as intricate work “never done before in the vacuum of space”, according to the space agency’s Twitter account. 

Spacewalkers Andrew Morgan of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) were to spend about six-and-a half hours outside of the space station to repair and update the cooling system on a cosmic ray detector mounted onto the space station.

The duo exited the Quest airlock around 1200 GMT after switching their spacesuits to battery power and then moved to the far side of the station’s starboard truss structure. 

Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch assisted the spacewalkers during the spacewalk from inside the space station, with Meir maneuvering the giant robotic arm that transported Commander Parmitano to the part of the station where the work was to be performed. 

The spacewalkers were seen via their helmet cameras manipulating familiar-looking tools like drills, scissors and wire cutters which NASA said were specialized for the tasks of the space walk. 

NASA said this was the second in a series of “complex spacewalks” to replace the cooling system and to keep it “running for years to come”. 

It said the cosmic ray detector whose cooling system was being repaired searches for evidence of dark matter and antimatter to increase our understanding of the universe. 

(Production: Mana Rabiee)

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