Glitch shortens 200th spacewalk at International Space Station

Janie Parker
May 13, 2017

Friday's spacewalk might seem a bit routine compared to NASA's first ISS spacewalk in 1998 when astronauts were putting the station together.

Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer put on spacesuits Friday to head outside the International Space Station for several fix and maintenance tasks, but the duo will likely only complete part of their work after a leaky cooling umbilical delayed the start of their spacewalk. NASA TV coverage begins at 5:30 AM CDT. He told mission control the Earth looked like a "giant fondue pot bubbling over with awesomesauce".

NASA adjusted the normal starting point for a spacewalk - when the astronauts switch their suits to battery power - after a troublesome servicing and cooling umbilical forced forced Whitson to use her spacesuit's internal electrical supply during final spacewalk preps and depressurization of the airlock. Whitson, making her ninth spacewalk, and Fischer, making his first, opened the hatch a few moments later and then floated outside to begin an expected four-hour excursion.

Fischer and Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA will exit the station's Quest airlock to replace an avionics box that routes command and data information to external science experiments.

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet representing the European Space Agency will assist the spacewalkers from inside the station.

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"It has been exhibiting some thermal issues of late, so it is being replaced", he said.

During the planned 6.5-hour spacewalk, the astronauts will also install a protective shield on the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3, which was moved from the Tranquility to the Harmony module in March, as reported.

Fischer has never spacewalked before. The tank ran out of fuel after three minutes, and White had to pull himself back to the capsule by his tether. NASA is especially wary of leaks involving spacesuits.

This spacewalk was supposed to take place in early April, but was put on hold because of delays in launching the replacement box and spectrometer equipment.

The first spacewalk ever conducted at the station was on December 7 that year.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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