UK & World News

  • 24 December 2013, 14:59

Spacewalk On Christmas Eve For US Astronauts

Two space station astronauts have begun a Christmas Eve spacewalk in hopes of wrapping up urgent cooling system repairs.

It is the second spacewalk in four days for US astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins.

The pair removed a faulty ammonia pump at the International Space Station during Saturday's outing.

Today, they are to install a new ammonia pump in what is hoped will be the final fix at the system.

The spacewalk is expected to last about six hours. It had been originally planned for Monday, but a suit problem prompted NASA to delay it by one day.

It is only the second Christmas Eve spacewalk in NASA history.

The external cooling line - one of two - shut down on December 11.

The six-man crew had to turn off all nonessential equipment, including experiments.

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