“HOUSTON, STATION ON SPACE TO GROUND.” WELCOME TO SPACE TO GROUND, I’M SANDRA JONES. THIS WEEK SPACE STATION CREWMEMBERS COMPLETED A SPACEWALK AND PREPARED FOR ONE MORE. CLOSER TO HOME, WE’RE ONE STEP CLOSER TO
LAUNCHING ASTRONAUTS FROM FLORIDA ONCE AGAIN. ON SUNDAY, SPACEX COMPLETED A SUCCESSFUL TEST DEMONSTRATING THE CAPABILITIY OF THE CREW DRAGON VEHICLE TO CARRY ASTRONAUTS TO SAFETY
IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY DURING ASCENT. FOLLOWING THE TEST, THE SPACECRAFT SPLASHED
DOWN OFF THE COAST OF CAPE CANAVERAL, AND TEAMS CONDUCTED RECOVERY OPERATION SIMULATIONS IN PREPARATION FOR A CREWED FLIGHT TEST LATER THIS YEAR. ON MONDAY, NASA ASTRONAUTS CHRISTINA KOCH
AND JESSICA MEIR CONDUCTED A SPACEWALK TO REPLACE NICKEL-HYDROGEN BATTERIES WITH MORE
POWERFUL LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES. THIS SPACEWALK ROUNDS OUT THE SERIES OF 4
TO REPLACE AGING BATTERIES ON TWO OF THE POWER CHANNELS ON THE STATION’S FAR PORT TRUSS.THE
SPACEWALK LASTED NEARLY 7 HOURS AND WAS THE 3RD SPACEWALK FOR MEIR AND THE 6TH FOR KOCH
WHO CONTINUES TO MAKE HISTORY WITH EACH PASSING DAY AS THE RECORD HOLDER FOR LONGEST SPACEFLIGHT BY A WOMAN. WHEN SHE RETURNS TO EARTH ON FEBRUARY 6TH
SHE WILL HAVE SPENT A TOTAL OF 328 DAYS ABOARD THE ORBITING LABORATORY. ONBOARD STATION, ASTRONAUTS WERE BUSY CONDUCTING THE COLD ATOM LABORATORY EXPERIMENT. THIS INVESTIGATION PRODUCES CLOUDS OF ATOMS
THAT ARE CHILLED TO ABOUT ONE TEN BILLIONTH OF A DEGREE ABOVE ABSOLUTE ZERO—EVEN COLDER
THAN THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF DEEP SPACE. AT THESE TEMPERATURES, ATOMS HAVE ALMOST NO
MOTION, ALLOWING SCIENTISTS TO STUDY FUNDAMENTAL BEHAVIORS AND QUANTUM CHARACTERISTICS FOR
LONGER PERIODS OF TIME. THIS WEEK’S QUESTION COMES FROM CHRISTINE
WHO WANTS TO KNOW IF A SPACEWALK TO FINISH WORK ON THE ALPHA MAGNETIC SPECTROMETER HAS BEEN SCHEDULED? IT SURE HAS, CHRISTINE! ON SATURDAY NASA ASTRONAUT ANDREW MORGAN AND EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT LUCA PARMITANO ARE SLATED TO COMPLETE THE FINAL SPACEWALK
TO REPAIR THE ALPHA MAGNETIC SPECTROMETER, INSURING THE INSTRUMENT CAN CONTINUE TO HUNT
FOR PARTICLES LIKE ANTIMATTER AND DARK MATTER AND GIVE US BETTER INSIGHT INTO THE ORIGINS
OF THE UNIVERSE FOR YEARS TO COME. KEEP SENDING IN YOUR QUESTIONS USING THE HASHTAG “ASK NASA.” WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK.