US astronauts conduct 200th spacewalk

13 May, 2017, 10:14 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Equipment water leak shortens spacewalk by two US astronauts

Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA floats inside the International Space Station while wearing his spacesuit.

As NASA said on its website, Whitson and Fischer "will venture outside the Quest airlock to replace a large avionics box that supplies electricity and data connections to the science experiments, and replacement hardware stored outside the station".

Running more than an hour behind schedule, U.S. EVA-42 began at 9:08 a.m. EDT (GMT-4).

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — An equipment water leak shortened Friday's spacewalk by two USA astronauts at the International Space Station.

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet representing the European Space Agency will assist the spacewalkers from inside the station. As a result, NASA officials chose to limit the time spent outside the station to roughly four hours - only enough time to accomplish the primary objective.

As a result, NASA chose to trim the spacewalk down to four hours, which left time for just one task, said mission commentator Rob Navias.

It was the first spacewalk for Fischer, who arrived at the station less than a month ago.

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"Outstanding, Peggy", came the voice from Houston's Mission Control.

But with the shortened spacewalk Friday, Whitson likely will remain at the No. 5 spot, just behind retired astronaut Jerry Ross.

"This is wonderful, to be able to do the 200th EVA [extra-vehicular activity] on board the space station", Whitson said as the spacewalk came to an end. However, due to the delay at the beginning of the mission, some of the secondary tasks of the spacewalk might have to be canceled.

The first piece of the International Space Station - a Russian module - was launched in 1998, and the first spacewalk ever conducted at the station took place in December that year.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, nearing the end of her ninth spacewalk, hung near the airlock on the International Space Station May 12.

Today, the $100 billion orbiting lab is roughly the size of a football field and a symbol of global cooperation among the 15 nations that have helped build and operate it. NASA is especially wary of leaks involving spacesuits.

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