Video: Nasa astronauts carry out space station repairs just in the nick of time

The two spacewalkers had to carry out the repairs during 35 minutes that the station's solar panels were not generating electricity

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The Independent Online

It was a race against time for two Nasa astronauts when they had just 35 minutes to replace a crucial electrical unit that had failed outside of the International Space Station.

Footage posted by Nasa yesterday, shows astronauts, Reid Wiseman and Barry "Butch" Wilmore, carrying out a spacewalk with the aim of replacing a faulty electrical unit with a new one.

However, the two men were up against the clock, as the mission could only take place when the space station was not in direct contact with sunlight and the solar panels that provide electricity to the ISS were not generating power.

The operation faced further difficulties, when one of the bolts did not work. However, Wiseman was eventually able to screw it in after using a special power tool.

In total the astronaut’s spacewalk lasted over six hours. As well as replacing the electrical unit, they also repaired one of the Space Station’s exterior satellites and cleared space for two international docking adapters that are due to arrive at the station in 2015.

Wiseman and Wilmore’s mission was the 183 spacewalk to be made at the ISS, since its opening in 1998. It was the most recent spacewalk on the ISS since Wiseman and Alexandr Gerst from the European Space Agency carried out general repairs during a similar mission on October 7.

The spacewalk carried out by Wiseman and Gerst, caused a lot of excitement throughout UFO enthusiasts, with a number of people claiming that the footage had captured a UFO floating in the background as the two men were filmed carrying out their checks.

Space-walk.jpgIn the video of the walk, some keen observers spotted what they believe to be a UFO.

Nasa has yet to comment on the image; however, most sceptics say that the blurred image in the background is an unidentified orbiting satellite.