US astronauts conduct 200th spacewalk

US astronauts conduct 200th spacewalk

US astronauts conduct 200th spacewalk

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

"Today threw us a lot of curve balls", Mission Control said, but noted the astronauts "hit a grand slam".

The spacewalk was briefly delayed after NASA discovered a "small leak of water" in equipment that helps power their spacesuits.

But with the shortened spacewalk Friday, Whitson likely will remain at the No. 5 spot, just behind retired astronaut Jerry Ross.

The umbilical hose is one of two responsible for providing water, oxygen, cooling, communication, and power among others.

Astronauts kicked off space station construction in orbit in 1998.

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'This is not the suit itself.

But the spacewalk was allowed to go ahead because according to NASA procedures, the astronauts can share one functioning SCU.

The plan is for the astronauts to take turns using the SCU, and alternate using battery power in their suits. 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.

Playing it safe, flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center made a decision to shorten the spacewalk to four hours and to eliminate all tasks other than the highest priority item, replacement of a 200-pound avionics box on an external logistics platform.

The pair will move through the Quest airlock to replace an avionics box used for science experiments, while also installing a connector to route data through the alpha magnetic spectrometer.

'It has been exhibiting some thermal issues of late, so it is being replaced, ' explained Navias. Whitson, who is wearing a suit with red stripes, holds the record for most spacewalks by a female American astronaut. Whitson is also the first woman to command the ISS, a feat achieved in 2008, and holds the record for most time an American has spent in space. This marked Fischer's first spacewalk, and he could be heard on NASA's live stream soaking in Earth's beauty from 250 miles above the planet.

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