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Space Station Shield Lost During Spacewalk

US astronauts 'MacGyvered' a solution

(Newser) - In space, nobody can hear you scream, "Oh no, there goes the shielding"—apart from Mission Control. American astronauts Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough suffered a frustrating setback during a spacewalk Thursday when one of the four fabric shields they were installing on the exterior of the International... More »

Astronauts Make Rare Christmas Eve Spacewalk

Astronauts swap in new cooling pump

(Newser) - A pair of astronauts installed a new ammonia pump on the International Space Station during a spacewalk today, in just the second Christmas Eve spacewalk in NASA's history, the AP reports. "It's like Christmas morning opening up a little present here," astronaut Rick Mastracchio said as... More »

Astronauts Begin Space Station Repairs

First of multiple spacewalks needed is underway

(Newser) - Two US astronauts are in the midst of the first of two and perhaps three spacewalks needed to repair the cooling system of the International Space Station, reports AP . Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins will work on the faulty pump today, Monday, and again on Christmas Day if necessary. You... More »

Xmas Spacewalk Planned for Space Station Fix

Cooling system in urgent need of repair

(Newser) - Before they can tuck into their freeze-dried turkey dinners, two American astronauts are going to have to venture out on a spacewalk to fix a faulty pump that has shut down part of the International Space Station's cooling system. The Christmas Day spacewalk is one of three that NASA... More »

Astronauts 'Moved to Tears' by New Views

In addition to a pretty sight, 'Cupola' will aid in shuttle docking

(Newser) - The shutters are open on the International Space Station’s new observation deck, which one astronaut describes as a “bay window to the world,” and the views are stunning. The centerpiece of the “Cupola,” as it’s called, is a 31-inch diameter circular aperture that is... More »

Atlantis Crew Finishes Mission

Astronauts complete final spacewalk

(Newser) - Astronauts from the space shuttle Atlantis finished the final spacewalk of their mission at the International Space Station today, clearing the way for their return Wednesday. Astronauts Robert Satcher and Randy Bresnik installed a science experiment that will test how materials, including a new kind of Teflon, hold up to... More »

NASA Briefly Lost Touch With Spacewalking Astronauts

(Newser) - Astronauts walking outside the International Space Station lost communications with NASA ground control for 33 minutes today, Reuters reports, after a storm cut the link through a relay station on the Pacific island of Guam. “This is no safety of flight issue,” said a spokesman, who added that... More »

Fifth Spacewalk Completes Shuttle Crew's To-Do List

Endeavour crew successfully completes maintenance and upgrades of space station

(Newser) - Astronauts from the space shuttle Endeavour today completed the final tasks of their mission to upgrade and maintain the International Space Station’s Kibo lab, reports. Crewmen Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn spent five hours in space rewiring the station’s altitude control system and adding some TV... More »

Spacewalk Cut Short After Suit Malfunctions

(Newser) - Two astronauts had to abruptly end their spacewalk outside the International Space Station when mission control operators realized one of them had a spacesuit glitch, reports. Astronaut Chris Cassidy, making his first spacewalk, was told to abandon his battery replacement work on the station because carbon dioxide levels... More »

Astronauts Spacewalk on Apollo Anniversary

(Newser) - Two Endeavour astronauts enjoyed a successful spacewalk on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing yesterday, reports The astronauts, who attached three large spare parts to the International Space Station, were outside at 4:17pm—the exact time Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on... More »

Stuck Bolt Throws Wrench in Hubble Repairs

Spacewalk becomes sixth longest in history

(Newser) - Yesterday was a frustratingly long day in space as Atlantis astronauts struggled to fix a long-broken spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope. They ultimately succeeded, but a stuck bolt and dead battery prolonged the spacewalk to 8 hours—making it the sixth longest in history, reports. Astronauts also... More »

NASA Gives Atlantis Crew Go Ahead for Hubble Rescue

Oft-delayed mission set to launch tomorrow

(Newser) - NASA has declared space shuttle Atlantis' crew fit to fly, and weather permitting, the much-delayed 11-day mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope will take off tomorrow, reports Endeavour is standing by just in case Atlantis itself needs rescuing. The mission includes five spacewalks and lots of tinkering... More »

Junk We've Lost in Outer Space

(Newser) - In the wake of two satellites colliding this week—and debris apparently falling on several states—Wired runs down a list of objects we've lost in outer space:
  • A spatula: Used to apply heat-shield repair goo, the implement's loss was a blow to one astronaut. "That was my favorite
... More »

Astronauts Wipe Off Grime on Final Walk

(Newser) - Astronauts lubed a joint and wiped a solar panel clean today on the last spacewalk of the Endeavour mission, reports. The final repairs on the International Space Station took just over 6 hours but were cut short for astronaut Shane Kimbrough when carbon dioxide levels rose in his... More »

Endeavour Heads to Space Station

(Newser) - The space shuttle Endeavour lifted off last night on a journey to the International Space Station, where astronauts will install new equipment and fix a solar panel, reports. The crew of the ISS will double from three to six next year; ahead of that, the Endeavour crew is... More »

Space Junk to Hit Earth Tomorrow

Ammonia tank chucked from ISS expected to break up in atmosphere

(Newser) - NASA is tracking a fridge-sized chunk of space trash expected to plunge to Earth tomorrow night, reports. The ammonia tank was thrown overboard from the International Space Station over a year ago and has been slowly descending since. NASA says it's highly unlikely that anybody will impacted by... More »

China's First Space Walker Back on Earth

Landmark mission ends on live TV in Mongolia

(Newser) - China's third manned space mission ended successfully yesterday when the Shenzou 7 spacecraft made a soft landing in Inner Mongolia, reports The re-entry vehicle descended beneath a giant parachute, a hatch opened and the happy astronauts clambered out. The flawless return to earth was broadcast live on television.... More »

China Astronauts Get Ready for First Spacewalk

(Newser) - China's 3-man spacecraft is now safely in orbit and all systems are go for the nation's first spacewalk tomorrow, reports Reuters. One of the astronauts is set to spend 40 minutes outside the shuttle in a $4.4 million Chinese space suit. Beijing plans to build a permanent space station... More »

Planned Spacewalk Would Be Giant Leap for Chinese

Astronauts to launch tomorrow would make China only third nation to accomplish feat

(Newser) - China is set to become the third nation to send a human strolling through space this week, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The shuttle Shenzhou VII will launch tomorrow with a crew of three, one of whom will don a Chinese- or Russian-made spacesuit for the spacewalk, seen as another... More »

'It's In, Thank God': Astronauts Finish Risky Chore

Pair must retrieve explosive bolt from Soyuz craft

(Newser) - Two Russian astronauts successfully removed an apparently defective bolt from their Soyuz spacecraft during a risky spacewalk today, the Houston Chronicle reports. The bolt itself packed the punch of an explosive firecracker, so the astronauts had to disconnect it, then stuff it into a steel case. "It's in, thank... More »

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