Astronauts complete rare Christmas Eve spacewalk - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Astronauts complete rare Christmas Eve spacewalk

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By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - It's a wrap for NASA's Christmas Eve spacewalk.

Two astronauts are safely back inside the International Space Station after replacing a pump in a crippled cooling line on Tuesday. Preliminary testing shows the new pump to be working well. NASA expects to have the station's cooling system restored by this weekend, with all equipment running again.

Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins braved a mini-blizzard of noxious ammonia as they hooked up the new pump. But in the end, they triumphed in their second spacewalk in four days.

It was only the second Christmas Eve spacewalk ever. Mission Control says it's the best Christmas ever.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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