US, German astronauts in spacewalk to maintain ISS

7th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

An American and a German astronaut performed a spacewalk outside the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday to carry out equipment repairs and maintenance, NASA said.

NASA's Reid Wiseman and the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst left the space station at 1230 GMT and were expected to remain outside for about six and a half hours.

The two astronauts were moving a failed cooling pump to an external storage platform just outside the Quest airlock module. Gerst was then due to replace a light on a television camera located on the Destiny module.

The next task for the astronauts was to install a Mobile Transporter Relay Assembly, which can shift gear and supplies on rails along the space station's backbone.

NASA's Barry Wilmore, who arrived at the ISS on September 25, was operating a Canadian robotic arm to maneuver Gerst during the spacewalk.

A second spacewalk is planned for October 15, when Wiseman and Wilmore will replace a failed voltage regulator. They will also move external camera equipment ahead of a major reconfiguration of station modules next year, NASA said in a statement.

The reconfiguration will allow for the arrival of new docking adapters for commercial crew vehicles.

Boeing and SpaceX last month won NASA contracts to build these spacecraft.

The two spacewalks are the 182nd and 183rd carried out to maintain the ISS.

© 2014 AFP

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