Jacobs Supports NASA Repair Ops for Experimental Spectrometer; Steve Arnette Quoted

Steve Arnette
Steve Arnette

Jacobs has partnered with NASA to help develop, test and deploy equipment to support a spacewalk outside the International Space Station to repair a large-scale instrument designed to detect antimatter particles in outer space.

The company collaborated with NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to prototype specialized tools, ground support equipment, training hardware and other paraphernalia such as thermal blankets and electronics to support maintenance efforts for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, Jacobs said Wednesday.

The $2B multinational AMS experiment was launched in 2011 and focused on leveraging seven particle detectors to discover antimatter to support research into cosmic rays and universal origins.

Jacobs’ work supported the Extravehicular Activity spacewalk in January to repair AMS and extend its service life. The recent EVA serves as the fourth and last spacewalk to repair the instrument, according to the company.

Steve Arnette, senior vice president for critical mission solutions at Jacobs, said the company has been working with NASA to develop specialized equipment for the AMS effort since 2005.

Jacobs also provided training support to astronauts through high-fidelity simulations of a zero-gravity environment in preparation for the spacewalk, the company noted.

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