In what was a rare spacewalk on Christmas Eve on Tuesday, astronauts at the International Space Station managed to successfully complete the repairing of a crippled cooling system in the space lab. In the process, they had to brave a ‘mini blizzard’ of noxious ammonia gas when they placed the new pump.
Second Xmas Eve Spacewalk Ever
The spacewalk taken by the US astronaut duo Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins, who have now walked two times in a span of four days, is only the second spacewalk to be conducted on a Christmas Eve.
NASA had ordered for the spacewalks after the cooling pump failed at the space station. As a result of the faulty critical cooling loop, all nonessential instruments at the ISS were switched off, which resulted in many science experiments being stalled. Cheering at the news of the successful spacewalk and repair job, NASA remarked that this was the ‘best Christmas ever’ and added that all instruments aboard the ISS could now start functioning to full capacity by the weekend.