An equipment water leak has stalled a spacewalk by two US astronauts at the International Space Station on Friday.
The 1 spacewalk in support of construction, maintenance or fix of the space station happened in 1998, when the NASA still used space shuttles and the space station itself was like a tiny, New York City apartment compared to the expansive space mansion that it is today.
Mission control radioed the astronauts that Friday's spacewalk will be limited to run around four hours, not the six-and-a-half hour duration originally planned, due to the problem.
The pair will move through the Quest airlock to replace an avionics box used for science experiments, while also installing a connector to route data through the alpha magnetic spectrometer.
It was Fischer's first spacewalk, and the ninth for Whitson, who last month broke the record for cumulative time in orbit by a U.S. astronaut. Fischer's suit itself is perfectly fine, ' said Navias.
Running more than an hour behind schedule, U.S. EVA-42 began at 9:08 a.m. EDT (GMT-4).
However, the two of them are out now and moving around seemingly without issue in order to remove a busted avionics box and install a new one before coming back into the station. Whitson, on the other hand, has performed more spacewalks than any other woman. Because of the decreased battery charge on both spacesuits, the astronauts focused on their most important task first for an abbreviated spacewalk.
But with the shortened spacewalk Friday, Whitson likely will remain at the No. 5 spot, just behind retired astronaut Jerry Ross.
NASA's bulky white spacesuits are aging, and the same models have been in use for four decades.
In the end, Whitson and Fischer accomplished everything but the installation of a high-definition TV camera and wireless communication antennas.
When compared with the relative safety of living and working inside the Space Station, floating around in space with only a tether to keep you firmly attached to your home above Earth isn't exactly a super safe position.