NASA Spacewalk on Christmas Eve Will Finish ISS Repair

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By Christine Lazaro | December 24, 2013 8:03 PM EST

The NASA spacewalk that will finish up the repair work of the problematic cooling line of the International Space Station is set to happen on Christmas Eve.

According to Boston Globe news, if things continue to go smooth, then the two astronauts assigned to finish the installation of the brand new ammonia pump will do the second and final spacewalk on Christmas Eve. NASA first thought it would take a total of three spacewalks before the problem will be solved.

The ISS cooling line that shut down on December 11 was fixed by astronauts Michael Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio by taking out the troublesome pump. The cause of the breakdown was detected on one of the identical pumps' valve. This forced the astronauts to turn off some of their nonessential equipment which led to the temporary stop of some scientific research and even making the entire ISS in a weak state.

The second NASA spacewalk should have happened on Monday but was moved to another day for one of the astronauts, Rick Mastracchio, to change suits, according to Wall Street Journal. Several engineers feared that some water got inside his suit when he accidentally hit its water switch. Judd Frieling, the flight director, said that if they will wait for the suit to completely dry up, then it will take a weeklong of their time. However, they assure that the water intrusion incident is not at all connected to the helmet leakage that happened to an Italian spacewalker several months ago.

Fox News added that a couple of the three crew members from Russia will also lead another spacewalk by Friday for the installation of cameras and other new experiments. The Moscow-directed spacewalk has been long planned even before the ISS got into a cooling system problem.

It was in 1999 when the last Christmas Eve spacewalk was done by NASA. It was conducted to repair the Hubble Space Telescope then. NASA's Mission Control team said that the good news above all the Christmas Eve spacewalk won't surely get in the way of Santa's route.

"The skies are all clear," Rob Navias stated.


(Video Credit: YouTube/Mary Greeley)

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