NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio

NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio ’87, Expedition 38 flight engineer, participates in the second of two spacewalks, spread over a four-day period, which were designed to allow the crew to change out a faulty water pump on the exterior of the Earth orbiting International Space Station. He was joined on both spacewalks by NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins. (@AstroRM).

On Christmas Eve, spacewalkers Rick Mastracchio ’87 and Mike Hopkins completed a second spacewalk to install a spare ammonia pump module on the International Space Station.
The main tasks completed included the removal and installation of a spare pump module. The first task was to remove the spare pump module from the space station’s External Stowage Platform-3. After that was completed, the module was bolted to the S1 truss and connected to Loop A of the station’s external Active Thermal Control System.

Connecticut as seen from space

NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio ’87 tweeted this photo of his home state of Connecticut as seen from space on Dec. 25. Photo by Rick Mastracchio (@AstroRM).

Hopkins attached himself to the Canadarm2 and took a ride to the worksite. Mastracchio tethered himself to the station and moved to the S1 truss to assist his partner. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata operated the Canadarm2 from inside the Destiny laboratory.

“The space station is back up and running perfectly,” Mastracchio told Brian Williams Jan. 6 in a live interview on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams.

The Christmas Eve spacewalk lasted seven hours and 30 minutes. This was the 176th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Mastracchio holds 51 hours and 28 minutes spacewalking time over eight spacewalks. Hopkins holds 12 hours and 58 minutes over two spacewalks.

Watch the Nightly News interview.