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gravity Six-Hour NASA Spacewalk Begins © NASA NASA / Reuters

Six-Hour NASA Spacewalk Begins

Two NASA astronauts began a six-hour spacewalk on Saturday to fix a leak in the International Space Station’s cooling system. Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins so far have progressed through the job an hour and a half ahead of schedule—and have been spared the helmet-flooding problem that almost killed an Italian astronaut in July (contamination had clogged up the system which removed moisture from his U.S.-made suit). NASA outfitted the two men with snorkels while they worked to unhook a coolant pump module with a faulty valve. Plans are in place for three spacewalks through Christmas Day to repair the valve malfunction that cut the station’s cooling capability in half last week.

December 21, 2013 11:08 AM