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US astronauts begin spacewalk for station repairs today

Published on Dec 21, 2013 8:57 PM
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Two US astronauts who stepped outside the International Space Station for the first of three spacewalks to fix a broken equipment cooling system, on Dec 21, 2013. Two United States astronauts on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013, stepped outside the International Space Station for the first of three spacewalks to fix a broken equipment cooling system, Nasa said. -- PHOTO: AFP/NASA

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Two United States astronauts on Saturday stepped outside the International Space Station for the first of three spacewalks to fix a broken equipment cooling system, Nasa said.

"Today's spacewalk has officially begun," said a Nasa commentator as the space agency broadcast live images of Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata leading the operation from inside the space station.

The spacewalk began at 7.01 am (1201 GMT), a few minutes earlier than planned. It is expected to last six and a half hours.

Veteran spacewalker Rick Mastracchio is making his seventh career spacewalk, accompanied by rookie Mike Hopkins, who is making his first venture outside the global research lab.

 
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