Astronauts to make Christmas Eve spacewalk
December 24th, 2013
12:49 AM ET

Astronauts to make Christmas Eve spacewalk

While many people may spend Christmas Eve doing last-minute gift shopping, two American astronauts have a more challenging matter to attend to Tuesday.
In orbit more than 200 miles above the planet, Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins are set to embark on a spacewalk to repair part of the International Space Station's cooling system.
It will be the second Christmas Eve spacewalk in history, according to NASA.
The two engineers will be carrying out the second in a series of expeditions needed to replace a malfunctioning pump, which circulates ammonia through loops outside the station to keep equipment cool.

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Filed under: U.S.
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    If the date of the repairs is a necessary coincidence, I don't mind. However, were the Christmas Eve Spacewalk a celebration of the Star in the East that guided the Wise Men to the manger in the Biblical fable, it would be a terrible misappropriation of tapayers' money. Church and State are separated by our Cons-

    December 24, 2013 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©


    December 24, 2013 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rachel Maddow

    I totally agree with that point, Joey. I do feel at ease with it being a coincidence. It is a repair mission, it wasn't publicized as a Christmas space trip, and finally, the nature of the repair: "...keep the equipment cool." I am not mechanically inclined, but sounds as if the sooner, the better.
    My guess is Wednesday is as soon as they can get the job done.

    December 24, 2013 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rachel Maddow

    Oh, and as in any organization of that magnitude, I'm sure that they have a compliance department to make that no space mission is based on any religion. As you pointed out, we must adhere to separation between church and state.

    December 24, 2013 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Astrophysicist

    As an astrophysicist I can assure you there is no actual space station and the lunar missions were faked.

    December 24, 2013 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    indeed its being touted as 'Chritmas Eve space walk".

    December 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    Shouldn't they therefore be zipped up in a Santa suit?

    December 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)¬©

      That is funny saywhat. I hadn't yet read the comments before I posted my joke.

      December 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    Lmao @ saywhat! I see bobcat has some competi tion today cuz THAT was funny!

    December 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. saywhat


    December 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat (in a hat)©

    There were four country churches in a small Texas town: The Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church. Each church was overrun with pesky squirrels.

    One day, the Presbyterian Church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration they determined that the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.
    In the Baptist Church the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.
    The Methodist Church got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creation. So, they humanely trapped the Squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.
    But - The Catholic Church came up with the best and most effective solution. They baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.

    December 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat (in a hat)©

    At a monastery high in the mountains, the monks have a rigid vow of silence.

    Only at Christmas, and only by one monk, and only with one sentence, is the vow allowed to be broken.

    One Christmas, Brother Thomas is allowed to speak and he says,

    "I like the mashed potatoes we have with the Christmas turkey!" and he sits down.

    Silence ensues for 365 days...

    The next Christmas, Brother Michael gets his turn, and he says

    "I think the mashed potatoes are lumpy and I hate them!"

    Once again, silence for 366 days (it's leap year).

    The following Christmas, Brother Paul rises and says,

    "I am fed up with this constant bickering!"

    December 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    Lmao @ bobcat, youre still the king of comedy!

    December 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dazzle ©

    My day is complete. Bobcat does it again. Merry Christmas!

    December 24, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    Lol yup @ dazzle, heres another funny you might appreciate as well! According to a recent survey Men outspend Women on every annual holiday!

    December 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bobcat (in a hat)©

    JIF ,chrissy, dazzle, saywhat, banasy and all my other friends (and foes as well)

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to each and everyone of you. Have a great day and enjoy the love and warmth of your families.

    December 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
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