Equipment water leak shortens spacewalk by 2 U.S. astronauts

Equipment water leak shortens spacewalk by 2 U.S. astronauts

Equipment water leak shortens spacewalk by 2 U.S. astronauts

Two American astronauts on Friday carried out the 200th spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS) despite an early equipment glitch that had delayed and shortened the mission.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is seen during a spacewalk during Expedition 50 aboard the International Space Station. This is also the 9th time Whitson has taken part in a spacewalk, extending her record as the American woman with the most spacewalks in history.

Current world record for the largest number of spacewalks is held by Russian astronaut Anatoly Solovyev, who has been on 16 spacewalks and spent more than 82 hours outside in space.

In light of that, it's pretty wonderful that there haven't been any astronaut or cosmonaut deaths or serious injuries during spacewalks since they began at the station in 1998. Fischer, extravehicular crew member 2, will wear the suit with no stripes on his first-ever spacewalk.

The pair breezed through their first priority, replacing a faulty, 200-pound (90 kg) electronics box that routes commands and data to experiments.

Astronauts Peggy Whitson and flight engineer Jack Fischer's trek started late due to some issues, and it was cut short when a small amount of water leaked from the connection point and a hose on Fischer's suit, the Associated Press reports.

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While the view from above the planet is probably pretty wonderful, it wasn't exactly smooth sailing for Fischer and Whitson.

The first U.S. spacewalk started at 3:45 p.m. EDT on the third orbit when White opened the hatch and used the hand-held manuevering oxygen-jet gun to push himself out of the capsule.

Astronauts kicked off space station construction in orbit in 1998.

After the first three minutes the fuel ran out and White maneuvered by twisting his body and pulling on the tether. NASA TV coverage begins at 5:30 AM CDT.

The first spacewalk at the ISS was done December 7, 1988 by astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman.

Today, the $100 billion orbiting lab is roughly 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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