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Astronauts Complete Spacewalk Early After Ammonia Leak


Astronauts Complete Spacewalk Early After Ammonia Leak

Astronauts Complete Spacewalk Early After Ammonia Leak

Crew working on Tranquility module, which was delivered by space shuttle

The International Space Station's newest room has working power after spacewalking astronauts managed to hook up plumbing to the module despite a leak of ammonia coolant.

Astronauts Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick finished all tasks planned for their second spacewalk Sunday, but NASA ended the six-hour walk early because of the ammonia mishap.

Patrick came into contact with a small amount of the leaking coolant during the spacewalk, but the frozen toxic drops did not stick to his space suit.

Behnken and Patrick went outside the orbiting laboratory to hook up exterior fluid lines for ammonia coolant. Most of the systems in the new module, named Tranquility, could not be turned on without a way to get rid of the heat generated by the equipment.

The astronauts have one more scheduled spacewalk to complete work on the Tranquility room and its attached observation deck.

Astronauts attached the newly-delivered module to the space station Friday, and entered the new room later in the day.

NASA says the 792-cubic-meter observatory will provide spectacular views of Earth and will allow station personnel to monitor spacewalks.

Four more shuttle missions to the International Space Station are planned before the end of this year when the U.S. shuttle fleet will be retired.

Some information for this report provided by AP.


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