Leak delays start of 200th spacewalk at International Space Station

Equipment water leak stalls spacewalk by 2 US astronauts

Two U.S. astronauts floated outside the International Space Station on Friday on a four-hour spacewalk with an abbreviated task list after a cable supplying power, oxygen, cooling water and communications to a spacesuit developed a leak, NASA said.

The 1 spacewalk in support of construction, maintenance or fix of the space station happened in 1998, when the NASA still used space shuttles and the space station itself was like a tiny, New York City apartment compared to the expansive space mansion that it is today.

During preparations earlier in the morning, a small amount of water leaked from the connection point between an umbilical hose and Fischer's suit.

This still image provided by NASA shows astronauts Jack Fischer, left, and Peggy Whitson on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Friday, May 12, 2017.

Americans Whitson and Fischer also plan to install a wireless communications antenna and a high-definition TV camera, and to attach a debris shield onto an exposed docking port that is being prepared for commercial space taxis under development by Space Exploration Technologies and Boeing Co.

The spacewalk was originally slated to last six hours or so, but NASA is shortening it to about four hours. An equipment water leak has shortened the spacewalk.


"Managers in mission control chose to shorten the spacewalk from the original six and a half hour plan, due to available battery power for the spacesuits", according to NASA. The 57-year-old Whitson has also spent more days off the planet than any other woman (more than 500 days in total) and will be recognizable by the red stripes on her space suit.

Would you go on a spacewalk?

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

After the first three minutes the fuel ran out and White maneuvered by twisting his body and pulling on the tether.

Today, the $100 billion orbiting lab is about the size of a football field, and a symbol of global cooperation among the 15 nations that have helped build and operate it. NASA is especially wary of leaks involving spacesuits.

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