• Astronauts wrap up successful spacewalk

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    WASHINGTON, D.C.: Two National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts wrapped up successful repairs at the International Space Station on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) after a rare Christmas Eve spacewalk to fix an equipment cooling system.

    Americans Rick Mastracchio, 53, and Mike Hopkins, 44, floated outside the orbiting lab for seven and a half hours to replace an ammonia pump whose internal control valve failed on December 11. “We have a pump that is alive and well,” said NASA commentator Rob Navias on the US space agency’s live television feed after a successful jumpstart test on the newly installed pump module, a bulky piece of gear the size of a refrigerator. More checks need to be done, but the pump appeared to be “in good shape” and would be fully activated in the coming hours, Navias said from mission control in Houston.

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