<p dir="ltr"><strong>Astronauts spent the holiday week working outside, replacing a busted cooling pump on the <a href="http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/">International Space Station</a>. High above the Atlantic Ocean, NASA's <a href="http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/mastracc.html">Rick Mastracchio </a>here participates in the first stage of the repairs on a 5-hour, 28-minute spacewalk. (See also: "<a href="http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/20/top-5-space-station-repair-spacewalk-dangers/">Top 5 Space Station Repair Spacewalk Dangers</a>.")</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><strong id="docs-internal-guid-6e321c59-35a8-a4d1-e2eb-a2bbf26efcd8"></strong></p><p dir="ltr">Mastracchio and another NASA astronaut, <a href="https://twitter.com/AstroIllini">Mike Hopkins</a>, successfully completed the repairs on Christmas Eve. Drama had accompanied these spacewalks after a helmet had filled dangerously with water during a previous spacewalk.</p><p dir="ltr">Mastracchio and Hopkins performed their repairs so efficiently, however, that a third spacewalk was canceled because it was not needed to finish the job.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>-Dan Vergano</em></p>

Astronauts Repair Space Station

Astronauts spent the holiday week working outside, replacing a busted cooling pump on the International Space Station. High above the Atlantic Ocean, NASA's Rick Mastracchio here participates in the first stage of the repairs on a 5-hour, 28-minute spacewalk. (See also: "Top 5 Space Station Repair Spacewalk Dangers.")

Mastracchio and another NASA astronaut, Mike Hopkins, successfully completed the repairs on Christmas Eve. Drama had accompanied these spacewalks after a helmet had filled dangerously with water during a previous spacewalk.

Mastracchio and Hopkins performed their repairs so efficiently, however, that a third spacewalk was canceled because it was not needed to finish the job.

-Dan Vergano

PHOTGRAPH COURTESY NASA

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