ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano describes tape as a “humble but versatile tool”. In this timelapse, he and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan can be seen in the International Space Station building loops out of Kapton tape.
Luca and Andrew will use these loops to mark the tubes they need to bend into shape when they install a new cooling pump for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) particle physics instrument. Building loops and reinforcing these allows astronauts to hold them in their spacesuit gloves and ensures they don’t curl up when pulled like strips of tape would.
The series of at least four spacewalks planned to maintain AMS-02 will be the most complex since work to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. The first spacewalk will take place 15 November 2019 and Luca will hold the lead role of EV1. It is the first time a European astronaut has held the leading role in a spacewalk.