NASA to Repair ISS NICER X-ray Telescope During 2024 Spacewalk

NASA to repair NICER X-ray telescope on ISS in 2024 after detecting a 'light leak' that affected its daytime observations, ensuring the continuation of valuable scientific research on neutron stars and other cosmic X-ray sources.

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Nitish Verma
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NASA to Repair ISS NICER X-ray Telescope During 2024 Spacewalk

NASA to Repair ISS NICER X-ray Telescope During 2024 Spacewalk

NASA is preparing to repair the NICER X-ray telescope on the International Space Station (ISS) during a spacewalk in 2024. The repair mission comes after the detection of a 'light leak' in May 2023 that affected the telescope's daytime observations.

The NICER telescope, which has been operating on the ISS since 2017, is an important scientific instrument used for studying neutron stars and other X-ray sources. The light leak issue was identified during routine checks, causing interference with the telescope's sensitive X-ray detectors and reducing its ability to observe celestial objects during daylight hours.

To address the problem and restore the telescope's full functionality, NASA will send astronauts on a spacewalk next year. The NICER telescope is positioned near the station's solar arrays, and the repair work will be conducted by the astronauts during the spacewalk.

Why this matters: The NICER X-ray telescope plays a critical role in advancing our understanding of the universe, particularly in the study of neutron stars and other high-energy astrophysical phenomena. Repairing the telescope ensures the continuation of valuable scientific research and maintains the ISS's capabilities as an advanced space observatory.

NASA officials have emphasized the importance of the NICER telescope's contributions to X-ray astronomy research. "The NICER telescope has provided us with invaluable data on neutron stars and other cosmic X-ray sources," said a NASA spokesperson. "Repairing the light leak will allow us to continue making groundbreaking discoveries and expand our knowledge of the universe."

Key Takeaways

  • NASA to repair NICER X-ray telescope on ISS during 2024 spacewalk
  • NICER detected a 'light leak' in May 2023 affecting daytime observations
  • NICER telescope studies neutron stars and other X-ray sources
  • Repair ensures continuation of valuable scientific research on ISS
  • NASA emphasizes NICER's contributions to X-ray astronomy research