Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Eve space walk

I mentioned A Solstice spacewalk, but that was only one of several to fix a coolant leak on the ISS.  Discovery News reports that the astronauts will be taking another one today in NASA Making Urgent Space Repairs on Christmas Day.

A major equipment failure on the International Space Station has made for a rough week for the six astronauts living aboard. Two of those astronauts will be doing a Christmas Day spacewalk to fix the problem. Trace tells us what's gone wrong, and details the work they'll be doing.
So, while the rest of us are enjoying a day off, the astronauts are working.  Merry Christmas!

 ETA: Space.com writes that the spacewalk has been moved up to Christmas Eve in the U.S., which means it will be taking place during Christmas Day in Australia and Japan.
Originally, NASA officials planned three spacewalks to fix the issue, however, if all goes well during the Christmas Eve EVA, the astronauts should be able to get the system back up and running at full capacity without a third spacewalk. You can watch the full 6.5-hour long spacewalk on SPACE.com via NASA TV. Live coverage starts at 6:15 a.m. EST (1115 GMT), and the Christmas Eve spacewalk should start at about 7:10 a.m. EST (1210 GMT).
For the Christmas Eve spacewalk, Mastracchio and Hopkins will work to install a new pump module to replace the one they removed during the earlier walk. Some non-vital systems have been powered down since the problem began, but the replacement should get the cooling system back up and running, NASA officials have said.
Hey, good news!

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