Equipment water leak stalls spacewalk by 2 US astronauts

Camille Francis
May 13, 2017

'Ginormous fondue pot, bubbling over with piping hot awesomesauce, ' said American astronaut Jack Fischer, as he embarked on his first-ever spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Friday.

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

NASA completed its first ISS spacewalk on December 7, 1998, just 17 days after the space station first launched.

Whitson and Fischer shared a second good cable, known as an umbilical, as they prepared to leave the station's airlock, which burned through some of their spacesuits' battery power.

The pair of astronauts were originally scheduled to replace a selection of replacement hardware and spare parts stored outside the station but a water leak in a component of one of the two space suits forced a delay.

"This is not the suit itself". The hose provides water, power, cooling and communications for astronauts before they float outside.

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Friday's spacewalk comes at a time of uncertainty for the ISS. The box supplies electricity to a variety of science experiments.

"It has been exhibiting some thermal issues of late, so it is being replaced", he said.

Americans Whitson and Fischer also plan to install a wireless communications antenna and a high-definition TV camera, and to attach a debris shield onto an exposed docking port that is being prepared for commercial space taxis under development by Space Exploration Technologies and Boeing Co.

The outing is the first for Fischer, who goes by the nickname '2Fish'.

The leaky hose had to be disconnected before the spacewalk could begin. With coverage starting at 6.30 a.m.

The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes, ending over the Gulf of Mexico. The tank ran out of fuel after three minutes, and White had to pull himself back to the capsule by his tether.

Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer perform the 200th spacewalk at the International Space Station. NASA is especially wary of leaks involving spacesuits.

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