Space station astronauts make rare Christmas Eve spacewalk

Global News

ABOVE: Astronauts have completed a second spacewalk to repair the international space station’s cooling system. Two American astronauts performed the delicate mission.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Two space station astronauts have floated outside on Christmas Eve in hopes of finishing urgent cooling system repairs.

It’s only the second Christmas Eve spacewalk in NASA history. The first was 14 years ago. And it’s the second spacewalk in four days for U.S. astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins.

“It’s like Christmas morning, opening up a little present here,” Mastracchio said as he checked his toolkit.

Mastracchio and Hopkins removed a faulty ammonia pump at the International Space Station during Saturday’s outing. On Tuesday, they’ll work to install a new pump 260 miles (418 kilometres) above the planet.

The external cooling line – one of two – shut down Dec. 11. The six-man crew had to turn off all nonessential equipment, including experiments.

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