Astronaut duo conducting 200th ISS spacewalk

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is seen during a Jan. 6 2017 spacewalk during Expedition 50 aboard the International Space Station. 	Credits NASA

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is seen during a Jan. 6 2017 spacewalk during Expedition 50 aboard the International Space Station. Credits NASA

The glitch affected equipment known as the servicing and cooling umbilical (SCU), which supplies power and oxygen to the spacesuits worn by veteran U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson and her rookie counterpart, Jack Fischer. Because of the decreased battery charge on both spacesuits, the astronauts focused on their most important task first for an abbreviated spacewalk. It provides power, cooling and communications capability to the spacesuit before the astronauts exit the space station, according to Rob Navias, the NASA TV commentator for Friday's excursion.

The main job was to replace what is known as the ExPRESS Carrier Avionics, or ExPCA, box. The box supplies electricity to a variety of science experiments. These include replacing a large avionics box that supplies electricity and data connections for various onboard science experiments, and installing a fabric shield created to protect against micrometeorites on one of the spacecraft's pressurized mating adapters.

The duo got through the task so quickly that they were given the go-ahead to add back a few more. The adapter will host a new global docking port for the arrival of commercial crew spacecraft.

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NASA posted the spacewalk on its official Twitter account.

NASA has experienced a series of problems with water leaking inside the astronauts' helmets, most notably in 2013 when water began filling Italian Luca Parmitano's headpiece, forcing him to cut short his spacewalk and make an emergency re-entry into the space lab.

The roughly four hour spacewalk included installing a communications antenna and a new High-definitional Camera.

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The spacewalk is the ninth of Whitson's career.

Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,247 hours and 55 minutes working outside the station during 200 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory.

One day later, Soyuz MS-03 commander Oleg Novitskiy and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet plan to return to Earth, landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan to close out a 196-day mission. "It's a huge honor to work with all of you".

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