Equipment water leak shortens spacewalk by 2 US astronauts

Equipment water leak shortens spacewalk by 2 US astronauts

Equipment water leak shortens spacewalk by 2 US astronauts

This still image provided by NASA shows astronauts Jack Fischer, left, and Peggy Whitson on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Friday, May 12, 2017. App users can tune in here.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - An equipment water leak shortened Friday's spacewalk by two US astronauts at the International Space Station.

Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer did some maintenance on the ISS, including work on an adapter for a new global docking port for commercial crew spacecraft.

"Managers in mission control made a decision to shorten the spacewalk from the original six and a half hour plan, due to available battery power for the spacesuits", according to NASA.

This will be the 200th spacewalk for the construction and maintenance of the orbiting outpost. These include replacing a large avionics box that supplies electricity and data connections for various onboard science experiments, and installing a fabric shield created to protect against micrometeorites on one of the spacecraft's pressurized mating adapters.

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

Despite the initial trouble, it was a milestone moment as Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer floated outside on the station's 200th spacewalk.

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

It was discovered as the astronauts were seated in the airlock inside the space station.

The astronauts will focus on one key task, to replace what is known as the ExPRESS Carrier Avionics, or ExPCA, box. Whitson has performed more spacewalks than any other woman.

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The spacewalk officially began at 9:08 a.m. EDT. "Wow, they're so blue", added the rookie spacewalker, who goes by the nickname "2Fish".

The first spacewalk ever conducted at the station was on December 7 that year.

"Oh my gosh, this is handsome", Fischer said as he worked 250 miles above the planet.

NASA's bulky white spacesuits are aging, and the same models have been in use for four decades.

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