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Nasa spacewalk


Two Nasa Astronauts went into space to fix a crucial cooling system on the International Space Station.
    This weekends spacewalk is the first of four in the next week.

American Astronauts, Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins zipped through time and space, removing a day ahead of schedule, the ailing cooling pump that jeopardized operations aboard the International Space Station.

The pump failed 10 days ago and today's space walk was a complicated procedure that required the two Astronauts to gingerly remove the refrigerator-size unit during a five and a half hour space walk.  A replacement pump will be installed during a spacewalk scheduled for Monday.

But there was a glitch. Astronaut Mastracchio complained about his feet being cold and at times had to re-adjust temperature controls in his suit.

The American space suits have come under scrutiny after an Italian Astronaut almost drowned when water droplets began collecting in his helmet during a spacewalk last July. Nasa is not sure what is causing the problem, but engineers came up with two fixes - an absorbent pad placed inside the helmet behind the Astronauts head to collect floating water droplets and a 20 inch plastic tube that would allow space walkers to breath air from the bottom of their suits if their helmets filled with water.
The Astronauts reported no such problems today, but when Mission Control asked the spacewalk Commander, Mastracchio, if he wanted to continue the walk for two more hours, Mastracchio decided it was best to call it a day.

Former Astronaut Clayton Anderson, who walked in space with Mastracchio on a previous mission said the Veteran Astronaut has great instincts.

Rick is very pragmatic he is very efficient and as the lead spacewalker he knows the tasks that are laid out in these three spacewalks and he knows if we get to this point we're good.

It will take one and possible two more spacewalks to completely repair that ailing cooling system and if there is a third spacewalk it will occur on Christmas day.