NASA orders up urgent spacewalking repairs at space station

In this image made from video provided by NASA, astronaut Jack Fischer works outside the International Space Station on Friday, May 12, 2017. Fischer and Peggy Whitson, not pictured, performed the station's 200th spacewalk. (NASA via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – NASA has ordered up urgent spacewalking repairs at the International Space Station.

On Tuesday, two astronauts will venture out to replace a data relay box that broke over the weekend. The job falls to the two Americans on board: commander Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer.

The failed unit is one of two that control the station’s radiators and solar panels, among other critical systems. NASA says everything is still safe in orbit because one relay box is still working. But officials want the bad one quickly replaced, in case the good one also goes down.

Astronauts performed a similar spacewalk in 2014.

Tuesday morning’s spacewalk should last just two hours.

Whitson and Fischer went spacewalking just 1 ½ weeks ago. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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