NASA spacewalker Mike Hopkins works outside the International Space Station on Saturday. (December 21)
Two NASA spacewalkers started fixing the International Space Station’s cooling system more quickly than expected on Saturday, with no sign of the helmet-flooding problem that led NASA to outfit astronauts with snorkels for the first time.
Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins were so far ahead of schedule that they completed one of the big tasks that was originally scheduled for a later spacewalk: stowing away a coolant pump module with a faulty valve to make room for its replacement. And they did it all in just five and a half hours, an hour less than originally planned.
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