NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins completed a 5 hour and 28 minute spacewalk Saturday to remove a faulty ammonia pump on the International Space Station. A second spacewalk to install a new unit now is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 24.
The extra day will allow time for the crew to resize a spare spacesuit on the space station for use by Mastracchio. During repressurization of the station’s airlock following the spacewalk, a spacesuit configuration issue put the suit Mastracchio was wearing in question for the next excursion -- specifically whether water entered into the suit’s sublimator inside the airlock. The flight control team at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston decided to switch to a backup suit for the next spacewalk.
This issue is not related to the spacesuit water leak that was seen during a July spacewalk by European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA’s Chris Cassidy. Both Mastracchio and Hopkins reported dry conditions repeatedly throughout Saturday’s activities and the two were never in danger.
NASA Television coverage of Tuesday’s spacewalk will begin at 6:15 a.m. EST. The spacewalk scheduled to begin at 7:10 a.m.
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