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NASA Begins First of 4 Spacewalks Friday to Fix Space Station Radiation Measuring Machine

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Two astronauts will embark on one of the most complicated space repair missions ever attempted with the first of four spacewalks from the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, NASA said in a press conference.

According to NASA, the mission requires cutting pipes, installing new pumps and reattaching tubes for the cooling system needed for a machine that measures cosmic radiation.

"We designed about 20 new space tools, which we flew on a variety of missions this year to get it up to the space station", Repair Project Manager Tara Jochim said on Tuesday.

The spacewalks are considered the most complex since the Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions, which took place between 1993 and 2009, NASA explained in a press release.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) requires working on a machine that, unlike the Hubble Space Telescope, was not designed to be serviced once in space, the release said.

The newly designed tools will allow astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan to perform a task never attempted in space - to cut and splice in this case eight cooling tubes, the release said.

"They’ll bring out the new pump system itself and hook that up to AMS… and that will finish out the series with brand new pumps", Spacewalk Flight Director Jeff Radigan said.

The AMS attached to the station is designed to measure cosmic radiation that astronauts will have to endure on future extended missions such as living and working on the Moon and Mars, according to NASA.

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