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NASA: Christmas Eve spacewalk could wrap up repair

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The Christmas Eve spacewalk planned by NASA at the International Space Station should wrap up repair work on a faulty cooling line.

Mission Control said Monday that unless something goes awry, two astronauts ought to finish installing a new ammonia pump Tuesday, during a second spacewalk. NASA originally thought three spacewalks might be needed.

Astronauts Rick Mastracchio (Muh-STRACK-ee-oh) and Michael Hopkins removed the faulty pump during Saturday's spacewalk. Everything went so well, they jumped ahead.

The next spacewalk should have been Monday, but was bumped a day so Mastracchio could swap suits. He inadvertently hit the water switch in the air lock following Saturday's spacewalk, and engineers suspect water intruded into his suit.

NASA has conducted a Christmas Eve spacewalk only once before.


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