NASA astronauts continue space station prep

Spacewalking astronauts ventured out for the third time in about a week to install cable at the International Space Station.

By Denise Royal
The International Space Station on July 4, 2013. UPI/ NASA
The International Space Station on July 4, 2013. UPI/ NASA | License Photo

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., March 1 (UPI) -- NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry "Butch" Wilmore spent Sunday performing the last of three spacewalks to continue upgrading the International Space Station.

The astronauts ran cable and installed antennae to prepare the orbiting outpost for the arrival of new commercial crew vehicles beginning in 2017, according to NASA. New docking ports will be flown up later this year. NASA is streaming the walk live.


Today's spacewalk comes four days after water pooled in Virts' helmet at the end of the previous repair. The water issue sparked concern because a similar incident almost drowned another astronaut in 2013 -- but mission managers said the event was manageable. They said Virts' spacesuit was known to release a small amount of water condensation into the helmet when repressurized after a spacewalk.

NASA is providing nearly $7 billion in funding to Boeing and SpaceX to develop spacecraft capable of transporting astronauts to the space station. Wilmore is due to return to Earth next week following a five and a half month mission. Virts is midway through his expedition.

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carried them both up.


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