NASA Working Remotely: How Astronauts Upgraded a Complex Experiment in Space

NASA-Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute
of TechnologyWorking Remotely:How Astronauts Upgraded a Complex Experiment in SpaceThe Cold Atom Lab
has lived aboardthe International Space Station
since 2018. It chills atoms to
almost absolute zero,the coldest temperature
matter can reach,making it easier for
scientists to study them. It also enables scientists
to studystates and properties of matterthat can only be created
in the lab. It’s one of the most
complex experimentsto operate inside
the stationand in January 2020 it was
time for an upgrade. But how is that done in space when the team is back on Earth?With the help of
the astronauts on board. Using a live video connectionwith the Cold Atom Lab team
at NASA-JPLAstronaut Christina Koch
led the upgrade activity,with help from
crewmate Jessica Meir. The challenging process was spread out over 8 days. They removed the “heart”
of the Cold Atom Laband replaced it with
the upgraded hardware. The upgrade adds a new tool
called an atom interferometerthat is used to study gravity
at a fundamental level. It will help scientists
study how the world worksat the smallest scalesand contribute to
the developmentof cutting-edge technologies. Koch: It took me over 300 days to finally get towork on Cold Atom Lab,
but it was worth it. Looking forward to next week. Ground: Thank you so much! We’re so happy you’re helping us.

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