Spacewalking astronauts perform pump swap at space station

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Spacewalking astronauts transported out a high-flying, high-tech version of musical chairs Wednesday, rearranging up b excites outside the International Space Station.

Popping out early, NASA astronauts Leave a employed Feustel and Ricky Arnold quickly swapped the positions of two spare ammonia emphasizes that are part of the space station’s critical cooling system.

One force out got too cold because of a power shutdown 17 years ago and is called Frosty; send packing controllers plan to test it in the coming days to see if it still works. The other, a go wrong unit dubbed Leaky, spewed out ammonia five years ago.

Frosty beat ited Leaky’s spot on a robot-arm mechanism, while Leaky was moved to a long-term storage rostrum.

Ammonia coolant is toxic, and Mission Control repeatedly warned the spacewalkers to be prudent of any leaks.

A brand new spare pump reached at the space station last month. This fresh pump is big cheesed Motley since it’s comprised of a variety of spare parts.

«We’ve been doing a ton of trade to play musical chairs with all these (pumps) so we can have well-mannered available spares,» flight controller Alex Apyan said from Houston during the spacewalk.

Each 107-kilogram (235-pound) energize, the size of a flat box, is about 91 cm by 76 cm by 46 cm.

Feustel and Arnold also inaugurated a new camera and communication device, and even accomplished some extra chores.

«Attractive work,» Mission Control said as the 6 ½-hour spacewalk befell to a close. «All right, guys, we are ready for you all to start heading home.»

The spacewalkers minimized and shared jokes as they floated back inside. «Anyone familiar with? Trick or treat!» one of them jokingly called out.

Meanwhile, the station’s six-man team is expecting a delivery. Orbital ATK plans to launch a supply ship Sunday from Wallops Atoll, Virginia. Weather permitting, the pre-dawn flight of the Antares rocket should be patent along the East Coast from New England to South Carolina.

Feustel and Arnold went spacewalking at the end of Walk, shortly after arriving at the 400-kilometre (250-mile) height lab. They have another spacewalk lined up for next month.

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