Tech & Science : Astronauts Are On A Spacewalk Right Now To Repair A Crucial Dark Matter Experiment - - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Astronauts Are On A Spacewalk Right Now To Repair A Crucial Dark Matter Experiment

18:36  15 november  2019
18:36  15 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

When Astronauts Go Swimming

  When Astronauts Go Swimming At NASA’s Johnson Space Center, astronauts train to repair spaceships by spending hours underwater.The pool sits inside a big, windowless building in Houston, on the grounds of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It is about 40 feet deep, and holds enough water to fill several Olympic-sized pools. Beneath the surface, shrouded in the bluish tint of the water, is a replica of the International Space Station.

Two astronauts are taking one of the most complicated spacewalks in NASA history today (Nov. 15) to revive an ailing billion experiment on the International It's the first of at least four spacewalks planned to repair the instrument, which has a coolant leak and needs a new cooling system.

The space station astronauts of Expedition 61, who are scheduled to launch in September, will take a spacewalk to repair an ailing dark matter experiment The International Space Station crew of Expedition 61/62, from left to right : UAE astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, Russian cosmonaut Oleg

A computer-generated image of AMS on the ISS (Image: NASA/JSC)© Image: NASA/JSC A computer-generated image of AMS on the ISS (Image: NASA/JSC)

Astronauts Andrew Morgan of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency are outside of the International Space Station (ISS) as we speak. The duo are taking a space walk to fix a key dark matter experiment. You can watch (and rewatch) the progress here.

Spacewalks happen regularly (there was a historic one just last month), but Friday’s is the most complex servicing mission since the Hubble repair mission, according to the NASA. The last Hubble repair took place a decade ago. The astronauts are working to fix an exciting experiment on the hunt for dark matter, the stuff that makes up most of the universe’s mass but has only been observed indirectly. After a decade of development, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) was brought to the ISS on the second-to-last space shuttle flight in 2011.

When Astronauts Go Swimming

  When Astronauts Go Swimming At NASA’s Johnson Space Center, astronauts train to repair spaceships by spending hours underwater.The pool sits inside a big, windowless building in Houston, on the grounds of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It is about 40 feet deep, and holds enough water to fill several Olympic-sized pools. Beneath the surface, shrouded in the bluish tint of the water, is a replica of the International Space Station.

Two astronauts are gearing up for what may be the most challenging spacewalks in history. NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency will take at least four spacewalks over the next few weeks to repair an ailing dark matter experiment

Watch Euronews' space correspondent Luca Parmitano lead one of the most challenging ever spacewalks . No sortie from the ISS is without danger, but AMS-02 is on a part of the ISS that was not designed for servicing, and there are concerns that the astronauts could get snagged on parts of

The AMS is a controversial particle detector onboard the ISS that measures the high-energy particles beaming through space called cosmic rays. Most famously, it’s one of several experiments that have spotted an excess in the antimatter partner to the electron, called the positron. To this day, it’s not completely clear where these extra positrons in cosmic rays come from—maybe they originated in a nearby neutron star, or maybe they’re the sign of something more exotic, like dark matter. Research using AMS data will also hopefully verify a strange drop-off in high-energy antimatter observed by China’s DAMPE satellite.

AMS is also on the hunt for antimatter, most importantly antimatter counterparts to the helium nuclei. Cosmic rays can’t produce these nuclei, which means they would have been born somewhere else in the universe, perhaps in a mostly-antimatter galaxy. Many are sceptical that these areas in the universe exist, Science reports.

For all the work AMS has done, it’s also in rough shape. Three of its four coolant pumps have failed. Friday’s space walk is part of a series (there might be four or five of them) to replace the pumps and replenish the coolant. If those repairs fail, at least the experiment will have expanded scientists’ knowledge of cosmic rays and how they work.

Astronauts' Exercise Programs Could Help Cancer Patients Endure Chemotherapy .
In a new paper this week, researchers are making a novel argument: Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and astronauts in space suffer similar health problems—including bone and muscle loss—and as such could benefit from similar training regimens. Author Jessica Scott, a senior scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Centre who’s studied how spaceflight affects the human body, said the genesis of the paper came during an academic conference.

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