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Astronauts Take Spacewalk to Find Ammonia Leak

by Marcia Dunn
Thursday Nov 1, 2012
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Two astronauts are spacewalking outside the International Space Station in an attempt to find an ammonia leak in a critical radiator system.

Station commander Sunita Williams and Japanese crewmate Akihiko Hoshide ventured out Thursday morning. They will isolate plumbing to help flight controllers locate the leak and open a spare radiator.

Their spacewalk got under way just hours after the orbiting lab had to dodge a piece of space junk.

On Wednesday evening, thrusters on a docked Russian supply ship were fired to move the space station out of harm’s way. But a computer error caused the thrusters to malfunction, and the station did not reach the desired altitude.

NASA says the station and its six residents are safe despite their lower-than-intended orbit. The menacing debris is a satellite fragment.

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