Rick Mastracchio Completes Successful Spacewalk

Apr 23, 2014

Waterbury native Rick Mastracchio completed a short spacewalk to replace a failed computer outside of the International Space Station on Wednesday. The airlock was re-pressurized starting at 11:32 am ET, signifying the excursion's end time.

Mastracchio and Steve Swanson installed a spare backup computer located on top of the Destiny laboratory module of the ISS. The old computer, known as a Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM), failed on April 11. It provides telemetry and commands to truss systems and solar arrays on the ISS. 

Swanson and Mastraccio installed a spare MDM that was flown up to the ISS in April 2001 by space shuttle Endeavour.

A spacewalker works on the S0 truss after replacing a failed backup computer.
Credit NASA TV

Mastracchio has been on the ISS since last year. In December, he made a series of spacewalks to repair a water pump on the exterior of the space station. Wednesday's spacewalk was his ninth.

Prior to the current ISS expedition, Mastracchio had flown on space shuttles Atlantis, Endeavour, and Discovery. He's traveled more than 16 million miles in space.