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Water leak delays historic 200th spacewalk
13 May 2017, 01:14 | Gerardo Harmon
Water leak delays historic 200th spacewalk
NASA says astronauts Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer will be performing a landmark 200th spacewalk at the International Space Station this morning.
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.
The leaky hose had to be disconnected before the spacewalk could begin. The adaptor will enable companies like SpaceX and Boeing to visit the station, making it an important port for the future of space exploration.
The spacewalk was briefly delayed after NASA discovered a "small leak of water" in equipment that helps power their spacesuits.
But the spacewalk was allowed to go ahead because according to NASA procedures, the astronauts can share one functioning SCU. But since Fischer's spacesuit was unaffected and fine, the historic spacewalk went on, although it had to be shortened from six hours to four.
Whitson, 57, broke the record for most cumulative time in space by an American astronaut in April of this year.
According to the United States space agency, Whitson and Fischer will install a connector that will route data to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and help the crew determine the most efficient way to conduct future maintenance on cosmic ray detector.
Astronauts kicked off space station construction in orbit in 1998. Initially, White propelled himself to the end of the 8-meter tether and back to the spacecraft three times using the hand-held gun. Jerry Ross and Jim Newman attached the first two components to the station, the Russian Zarya module and the U.S. Unity module.
The start of the spacewalk, originally slated to last 6.5 hours, was delayed more than an hour while the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration revamped plans due to the leak, which developed as Fischer's suit was being prepared. NASA is especially wary of leaks involving spacesuits.
Today, the $100 billion orbiting lab is about the size of a football field, and a symbol of global cooperation among the 15 nations that have helped build and operate it.
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