Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins are now outside the ISS installing the spare pump in the cooling system. It is the second of perhaps three spacewalks needed to fix the system. (See earlier post on the first EVA last Saturday.) So far they have mechanically installed the pump and are now reconnecting the ammonia lines to the pump.
They had difficulty disconnected one line from a temporary jumper box. After they finally disconnected it, there was venting of ammonia as small snowflakes, some of which got on their suits. They will have to go through a decontamination procedure before they reenter the airlock. This could mean shortening the spacewalk.
See updates and pictures at ISS Updates (ISS101) on Twitter.
[ Update: The astronauts finished their EVA and they also completed the repairs to the cooling system. So a third EVA will not be needed:
- Spacewalkers finish crucial space station repairs in time for Christmas – NBC News.com
- Holiday calendar: Santa never had a view like this! – MSNBC PhotoBlog
- Astronauts complete installation of new ISS Pump Module – NASASpaceFlight.com
Other updates and info at:
- Space Station Mission Report | Mission Status Center – Spaceflight Now
- Spacewalkers aim to finish coolant system repairs – CBS News/Spaceflight Now
Some images of the astronauts moving the spare pump into place: