NASA Orders Astronaut Spacewalks to Fix International Space Station

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 17 2013 6:34 PM

NASA Orders Astronaut Spacewalks to Fix International Space Station

Astronauts will perform three spacewalks to fix cooling system on International Space Station.

Photo by NASA via Getty Images

NASA has decided that a series of astronaut spacewalks is necessary to make repairs to the International Space Station. On Tuesday, station managers decided to send two American astronauts to fix a broken cooling line as soon as possible, the Associated Press reports. In what the AP describes as a major job for the astronauts, the repairs will require three spacewalks on Saturday, Monday and Christmas Day.

Last week the station’s cooling system malfunctioned and half of the system was shut down, forcing the crew to shut down all nonessential equipment. The move was designed to take the pressure off the cooling system, which is used to dispel heat that’s generated by equipment onboard. NASA’s decision to send the astronauts on spacewalks, USA Today reports, “came after efforts to regulate temperatures in one of the station's two external loops apparently were unsuccessful.”


"It's a serious problem, obviously," American astronaut Rick Mastracchio said in an interview with on Friday. "It's something we have to fix. It's not something I'm worried about though." The spacewalks will be the first since they were suspended for American astronauts in July following a scare where an Italian astronaut nearly drowned when his spacesuit started leaking causing his helmet to fill with water while outside the station.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.


War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.


It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

It’s Fine to Use Facebook to Serve People With Legal Papers, Court Rules

  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?