US astronauts embark on spacewalk

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This digital animation shows NASA astronauts performing spacewalks to repair a faulty cooling pump on the outside of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV
Astronauts from the U.S. space agency will begin a series of spacewalks Saturday to repair a faulty pump on the International Space Station.
NASA says the two U.S. astronauts have attached snorkels to their spacesuits which they can use for breathing in case of a helmet water leak.
A helmet worn by an Italian astronaut filled with water in July, causing him to nearly drown. Spacewalks have been suspended since then.
NASA says the American astronauts will make three spacewalks – on December 21, 23, and 25 – each one lasting about six-and-a-half hours.
The astronauts will be working to fix the pump, which shut down the space station\’s cooling system several days ago.
The station has been using a backup system for cooling both internal and external equipment since the pump failure. The problem has forced the astronauts to turn off all non-essential equipment, including some science experiments.
Source: VOA and agencies

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