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The astronauts of NASA go spacewalking after reaching orbit



  NASA astronauts go spacewalking days after reaching orbit
In this image from NASA video, astronaut Ricky Arnold, center at Robotic Arm, and Drew Feustel, above, work during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Thursday March 26, 2018. The two astronauts arrived at the station less than a week ago. (NASA via AP)

Two newcomers to the International Space Station (ISS) left on Thursday less than a week after entering space and completed all of their work despite a slightly shorter excursion.

NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold quickly installed new wireless antennas and removed leaking hoses from a radiator. They also replaced a broken camera.

"We've done a lot today," Mission Control radioed, congratulating.

The astronauts brought the old equipment back to Earth for ultimate return. It was close to the airlock when the spacewalk ended after six hours and ten minutes.

The spacewalk was scheduled 6 ½ hours, but NASA decided to limit the men's time because of a problem with Feustel's air purification system. However, they managed to do all their jobs and tackled an extra task.

NASA emphasized that Feustel's suit problem had nothing to do with the difficulties he had had earlier in the day. His suit failed three times after he put it on, but he skipped the fourth attempt. That brought the astronauts outside more than an hour late.

"You guys work harder today than at the gym," Mission Control said before the spacewalk began.

Feustel and Arnold shot away from Kazakhstan last Wednesday and arrived two days later at the 250-mile outpost. They stay on board until August. Shuttle astronauts often spacewalking a few days after orbit when they had short flights, but less for station dwellers who spend five to six months in the air.

  NASA astronauts go spacewalking days after reaching orbit
In this frame of NASA TV, astronaut Drew Feustel, right, and NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold prepare to install new antennas, replace a bad camera and jumper cables to remove from a leaking radiator in the International Space Station Thursday, March 29, 2018. (NASA TV via AP)
NASA Space Station head Kenny Todd said earlier this week that Feustel and Arnold are experienced spacewalkers on the old Space Shuttle days and used to a quick orbit transition. But Todd warned that there is no routine on the spacewalk, and is probably the most dangerous venture when he orbits astronauts.

This was Feustel's seventh spacewalk and Arnold's third.

The intense gait continues next week. SpaceX plans to deliver a load of material to the station crew on Monday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.


Further information:
US astronauts make spacewalk to perform ISS repairs (Update)


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