Science Channel - InSCIder

18 Dec

WATCH: NASA Spacewalks Scheduled To Fix Space Station (UPDATED)

12/27 UPDATE: The third spacewalk in one week ended at 4:07 p.m. EST Friday aboard the International Space Station as Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy set a record for the longest spacewalk in Russia's history. The cosmonauts installed two cameras on the ISS during the 8-hour, 7-minute spacewalk.

12/24 UPDATE: Out with the old, in with the new!

12/22 UPDATE: Saturday's spacewalk was successful as astronauts removed the malfunctioning pump ahead of schedule; a second spacewalk was postponed until Tuesday, Dec. 24 to allow the crew to resize Mastracchio's spacesuit, NASA said.

Hopkins shared this photo from Saturday's experience:

Original: NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins will step outside the International Space Station and conduct spacewalks on Dec. 21, 23 and 25 to fix a "faulty pump module." Each spacewalk begins at 7:10 a.m. and NASA TV will kick off its coverage at 6:15 a.m. each day.

Watch NASA TV:


Live streaming video by Ustream

The three spacewalks come after a pump malfunctioned on Dec. 11, leading to a partial shutdown of the ISS' cooling system as the space station's crew and ground control scrambled to correct the problem. As National Geographic explains, "The cooling system acts like a car’s radiator to remove excess heat from the orbiting lab, and the pump was shut off due to temperature fluctuations."

Watch live video from the International Space Station:


Live streaming video by Ustream

“Everything we can do is being done,” ISS Mission Operations Integration Manager Kenny Todd told NASA. “The system is good and stable. The crew is in good shape. All the right folks on the ground are looking at the problem and trying to assess exactly what the root cause is and what our options are to continue moving forward.”

In May 2013, astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn completed a spacewalk to fix an ammonia leak on the space station. During the five-and-a-half-hour spacewalk, "Cassidy and Marshburn removed the 260-pound pump controller box from the P6 truss and replaced it with a spare that had been stowed nearby on the port-side truss, or backbone of the station."

Mastracchio tweeted a photo of his space suit on Monday:

Stay tuned to Science Channel and sciencechannel.com for photo and video updates from the spacewalks as they come in.

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