Tags: nasa | space | astronauts | repair

Mission Accomplished: Astronauts Conclude Christmas Eve Spacewalk

Image: Mission Accomplished: Astronauts Conclude Christmas Eve Spacewalk Astronaut Mike Hopkins works outside the International Space Station on Dec. 24.

Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 07:42 PM

By Amy Woods

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Two U.S. astronauts aboard the International Space Station spent Christmas Eve conducting a spacewalk to replace the craft's cooling system, which failed two weeks ago.

The seven-and-a-half-hour endeavor saw Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio, aided by Japan's Koichi Wakata, replace a pump the size of a refrigerator. The mission was successful, said NASA's Rob Navias.

"We have a pump that is alive and well," Navias said.

Not since 1999's Hubble Space Telescope repair mission have astronauts spacewalked on Dec. 24.

"It's like Christmas morning, opening up a little present here," Mastracchio said.

While Hopkins and Mastracchio were suited up in the vacuum of space, Wakata maneuvered a 58-foot-long robotic arm inside the station.

In orbit right around the time Santa Claus would be making his rounds, the astronauts weren't as lively and quick as St. Nick.

The spacewalk didn't always go as smoothly as Santa's rounds, either.

After securing the large module, they had to switch out the valve's lines, which carry an ammonia mixture that cools the pipes and, in turn, cools the constantly running electrical equipment on the space station.

One broke free, and ammonia started spewing like snowflakes. Once that dissipated, the men completed the job but had to hang out in space while the toxic chemical that now was all over their space suits dried out.

The repair was deemed urgent by NASA, prompting the spacewalk. The crew had to turn off all nonessential equipment and use the secondary, functioning cooling line. Had that broken, the six astronauts on board might have had to abandon ship, NBC News reported.

Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Doug Wheelock, two astronauts who performed a similar repair in 2010, were at Mission Control when Hopkins and Mastracchio were in action.

"It's the best Christmas ever," Wheelock told his colleagues after the repairs were made.

"Merry Christmas to everybody," Hopkins replied. "It took a couple of licks to get 'er done, but we got it."

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

German Researchers: Cellphone Calls, Messages Easy to Crack

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 14:12 PM

Security flaws on the global network that routes the world's cellphone calls and texts could allow hackers and criminals . . .

Kepler's Exoplanet Find Is First Since Space Telescope Revived

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 09:54 AM

The Kepler space telescope has discovered its first exoplanet since NASA's engineers were able to reboot the mission man . . .

Rosetta Comet-Landing Is 2014's Top Science Breakthrough

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 08:37 AM

The top scientific breakthrough of 2014 was the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft's rendezvous with a comet, th . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved