NASA Astronauts at ISS Spacewalk Venture a Success

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By Ma Evelyn Castino Quilas | April 24, 2014 3:52 PM EST

Two NASA astronauts have successfully completed the spacewalk venture at the International Space Station to replace the critically dead backup computer with a fresh one.

The recently completed spacewalk was streamed live from NASA Web site. American Astronauts Steve Swanson and Rick Mastracchio started at 2.5-hour activity at the 10-year-old multiplexer/demultiplexer computer around 10 o'clock ET on Wednesday and finished the crucial excursion with the repressurization sequence after the replacement procedure was undertaken.

A picture of the helmet camera was posted at NASA's official Twitter account with the following caption: "The #spacewalk crew removed the failed backup computer unit."

Reuters reported Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen congratulated the two astronauts as they were about to close the doorway. Monitoring the crucial spacewalk from the NASA's Mission Control in Houston, Texas, Astronaut Hansen said: "Nice and clean. Great job."

Swanson who doned a plain suit and designated as EV1 has undertaken a spacewalk for five times already while Mastracchio who wore a suit with red stripes and designated as EV2 has finished nine spacewalks.

The spacewalk was ordered right after a routine health check diagnosed the defective backup computer on April 11. Both the primary computer and the astronauts were safe but the mandate on critical spacewalk prevented further risks in case of failure of the primary computer.

Washington Post reported sharp edges and other similar circumstances posed innate risks and obvious dangers in spacewalk ventures like this one.

Another NASA astronaut Chris Hadfield said, "The Extravehicular Mobility Unit is a little one-person spaceship - completely self-contained. It has its own oxygen system, cooling system, communications, everything. Any safety that's protecting you from death is in that suit. You've lost layers of redundancy that you had in the space station."

Meanwhile, the backup computer was used for steering the critical commands that support the space station such as backbone-like main truss, robotic arm rail car and solar arrays.

Here is the Twitter update from NASA showing the helmet camera:

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