Two U.S. astronauts spent nearly eight hours spacewalking outside the International Space Station on Friday, grappling with an escape of potentially hazardous ammonia as they switched out a cooling system, NASA said.
Station commander Scott Kelly and flight engineer Kjell Lindgren left the station’s airlock around 6:30 a.m. EST for what turned out to be a spacewalk lasting nearly eight hours.
A few flakes of ammonia escaped when the cooling system was being recharged, but posed no threat to the astronauts and required no decontamination before they returned to the station, said NASA mission commentator Rob Navias.
Kelly and Lindgren disconnected a spare cooling system which had been used since 2012 to circumvent an ammonia leak in one of the station’s eight primary cooling loops.
The leak persisted, and in May 2013 another pair of astronauts replaced a faulty pump, fixing the problem.
During Friday’s spacewalk, the primary cooling system was recharged with ammonia and put back into service. NASA had hoped to pack away the spare, but Kelly and Lindgren ran out of time to fold and cover its extended radiator panels.
NASA spokesman Dan Huot said that work likely would be rescheduled for a future spacewalk. No more space walks are scheduled for 2015.
NASA had to scrap plans this year to outfit the station with two new parking spots for commercial space taxis under development by Boeing and privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX.
The first docking adapter was destroyed during a botched SpaceX cargo run in June. A second adapter is now due to fly aboard another SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule next year.
Spacewalks to continue preparing the station for the new spaceships are expected to resume as early as January, Huot said.
(Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by David Adams and Christian Plumb)
John Oliver explains how the Ukraine scandal so stupid even Fox News ‘idiot’ Steve Doocy should understand it
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver closed out his season with a special report for Fox News hosts who seem to be struggling with the basic understanding of things like "bribery" or the concept that attempted crimes are still actually crimes.
At the top of Sunday's show, Oliver played a clip of Fox News host Laura Ingraham who made the argument that if Trump tried to commit a crime and didn't manage to pull it off, then he's clearly innocent.
"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution," proclaimed Ingraham, forgetting about what "high crimes and misdemeanors" covers. "Remember, Ukraine got its aid, it was 14 days delayed, big deal. And Ukraine never made any public statement about the investigation."
This is the energy executive who first exposed Trump’s Ukraine scandal: report
CNN host Chris Cuomo did a special investigative report by Drew Griffin looking at the money trail from Russia to President Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal.
"You probably don’t know Dale Perry, but history may record this energy executive as one of the first who sounded the alarm about what would become President Trump’s impeachment inquiry," said Griffin. "In April, Perry’s former business partner Andrew Favorov, now a director at Ukraine's state-owned gas company Naftogaz, says two shady characters had approached him, with a secret management plan to take over the management from the inside. Those two shady characters Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, are two low-level, Soviet-born businessmen from south Florida. And they were trying to clear the way for their own gas business."
‘A slam-dunk-case’: MSNBC analysts predict GOP will defend Trump — and ‘the guy is going to get off’
More evidence was outed Sunday as the Wall Street Journal revealed emails from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who promised to keep the White House abreast of President Donald Trump's demand for an investigation by Ukraine. The news prompted an MSNBC panelists to explain that it wouldn't matter how much evidence was presented, Republicans will never vote to remove Trump.
Host Geoff Bennett asked about the witness testimony and preponderance of evidence that "all points in one direction at this point, that President Trump orchestrated this entire" Ukraine investigations.
"It's a slam dunk case, and yet we know the guy is going to get off," said Los Angels Times White House reporter Eli Stokols. "That's effectively what you're saying. Because all the testimony has lined up so closely, the fact that [EU Ambassador Gordon] Sondland has come to come in, and because testimony from [Ambassador Bill] Taylor and others, has had to change testimony, Republicans have no choice -- the president has no choice but to try to dismiss the entire thing as partisan."