Sunday, November 23, 2008

Astronauts venture for third space walk

WASHINGTON, Nov 22 (KUNA) -- NASA astronauts ventured outside the international space station on Saturday for their third space walk, the longest and hardest of the mission.

Astronauts Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Stephen Bowen are expected to finish repair work on a jammed-joint that should last more than seven hours. As the repairs was getting under way, a new waste water recycling system for converting urine, sweat and other fluids into drinkable water broke down for the third consecutive day.

NASA officials say the problem appeared to be a sluggish motor, which could soil plans to test the USD 154 million recycling system by bringing recycled water back to Earth aboard space shuttle Endeavour next weekend.

The repair mission has also been marred by obstacles. On the first space walk Tuesday, a USD 100,000 tool kit, which contained two grease guns, floated into space.

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