christmas eve spacewalk could wrap up repair, nasa says - absorbent pads for food packaging
Cape canaveral, Florida.
-On Tuesday, two space station astronauts ventured on a rare Christmas Eve spacewalk in hopes of ending an emergency repair of the cooling system.
This is the second American spacewalk in four days. S.
Astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins are also the second Christmas Eve spacewalk in NASA's history.
NASA ordered a spacewalk to restore a key cooling circuit to the International Space Station.
When the line breaks on December, all non-essential equipment must be turned off.
Many scientific experiments have stopped.
Mastracchio and Hopkins removed a faulty ammonia pump during an outing on Saturday.
On Tuesday, they installed a new pump 260 miles from Earth.
"It's like opening a small gift here on Christmas morning," Mastracchio said while checking the kit . ".
The mission control center in Houston was filled with festive atmosphere on Tuesday's spacewalk.
The table is decorated with Christmas trees, Christmas dolls and red Santa hats.
"Today is Christmas Eve. . .
"We are giving you a spacewalk today during this holiday," said commentator Rob Navis . ".
NASA's only previous Christmas Eve spacewalk took place during the 1999 Hubble Space Telescope repair mission.
But NASA's most memorable Christmas Eve is December. 24, 1968.
When the Apollo 8 astronaut flew around the moon in the first lunar flight of mankind, he read the first book of the Bible, Genesis.
Space station managers are considering waiting until January for a repair spacewalk so that an unmanned rocket can be launched from Virginia.
However, flight controllers are unable to repair the cooling lines through remote control, and the orbital outpost is considered too fragile to delay the repair of the spacewalk.
On the contrary, the delivery task was postponed until January.
A bad valve in the ammonia pump caused a fault.
Just three years ago, another group of spacewalk astronauts installed the pump, and engineers were confused about why it could not last longer.
NASA hopes to save it in the next few years.
Due to the difficulty of removing the pressurized ammonia tube line, the 2010 replacement requires three spacewalks.
This time, NASA took the pressure off and the mission was simplified to allow astronauts to succeed on Saturday.
Despite arranging three spacewalks this time, the advance work of Mastracchio and hopkins allowed NASA to squeeze everything twice, unless there was any problem on Tuesday.
The second spacewalk was supposed to take place on Monday, but the space walk was delayed for a day in order to give Mastracchio time to change a suit.
At the end of Saturday's hike, he accidentally hit a water switch in the gas lock, and a little bit of water in his suit made it unusable this week.
However, clothes are still dry for the rest of the space walk.
On last July, an astronaut's helmet was flooded by the cooling system and almost drowned.
For just in case, temporary snorkeling and suction pads have been installed in the suit. A Moscow-
Led space walks are scheduled for Friday, meanwhile.
Two Russian crew members will install new cameras and new experiments outside.