Christmas Eve spacewalk to repair the ISS: Watch it live, right here
NASA astronauts will make a second spacewalk in their effort to repair the International Space Station on Tuesday, and you can watch it live, right here.
The Christmas Eve spacewalk begins at 4:10 a.m. PST, but if you happen to be up even earlier, NASA’s coverage will begin at 3:15 a.m.
And late sleepers, take comfort: The spacewalk is scheduled to last about 6 1/2 hours, and you can tune in any time.
Tuesday’s spacewalk is the second to fix a problem with a pump in one of the space station’s two external ammonia cooling loops. The loops are essential for keeping instruments inside and outside the station from overheating.
During a 5 1/2-hour spacewalk Saturday, the astronauts disconnected the refrigerator-size pump from four ammonia fluid lines and moved it to a temporary storage spot on the outside of the station. (You can find highlights from that spacewalk here.)
On Tuesday, the same two-man team will move a spare pump into place and, if they have time, connect it to the ammonia fluid lines, and then tidy everything up.
The second spacewalk was initially scheduled for Monday, but there was a small chance that some water got into the temperature control system of Rick Mastracchio’s space suit after the astronauts returned to the space station. To be safe, NASA officials pushed the spacewalk back one day, giving Mastracchio time to assemble a spare suit.
NASA officials originally thought it would take Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins three separate spacewalks to complete the fix, but the astronauts were so efficient on their first spacewalk that agency officials now say they think two will be enough.
That would be nice for Mastracchio and Hopkins. If they must make a third spacewalk, it probably would have to be on Christmas Day.
Happy holidays! And follow me on Twitter for more news from space.
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