US astronauts conduct spacewalk to repair ISS

WASHINGTON: A pair of American astronauts stepped outside the International Space Station Wednesday for a spacewalk to do repairs and upkeep at the orbiting outpost, NASA said.

Reid Wiseman and Barry “Butch” Wilmore finished their spacewalk after six hours and 34 minutes, right on schedule, the US space agency said.

Their first task was to replace a suitcase-sized power regulator for a solar array that had failed in May.

The operation required some careful coordination with the time when the space station passed under Earth´s shadow, so that electricity was not being generated by the solar array.

Then, the astronauts set to their next task of moving equipment to make space for international docking adapters scheduled to be delivered to the complex in 2015.

These “will configure the station for future commercial crew vehicles and provide an additional berthing port for commercial cargo spacecraft,” NASA said.

They also replaced an external TV camera that had lost its zoom capability, and replaced it with a new one.

Wednesday´s spacewalk was the 183rd at the International Space Station, but was Wilmore´s first.

It was the second outing for Wiseman, who along with flight engineer Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency completed a six-hour spacewalk on October 7.

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