Astronaut Embarks on First Space Walk

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

Sometimes, milestones come in twos. Just ask astronaut Randy Bresnik. As he embarks, Saturday, on the first space walk of his career, on the first space flight of his career, his wife Rebecca is due to give birth at any moment back home in Houston, Texas, USA, Earth.

Bresnik, along with fellow Atlantis crew member Michael Foreman, is scheduled to install communications antennas on the International Space Station, and set up a cargo attachment mechanism to the station's truss.

Today's walk, the second of three planned for this mission, was not without its problems.

It was delayed for over an hour after a false alarm overnight from the ISS' decompression system. That problem interrupted the astronauts' sleep - essential not just for the usual reasons, but also to purge nitrogen for their bodies. That's necessary to prevent them coming with a painful condition known to scuba divers as "the bends".

Instead, Foreman and Bresnik breathed pure oxygen and exercised vigorously before floating out for today's walk.

And just after Foreman and Bresnik made their way through the hatch, Foreman experienced a problem with his radio. He was switched to an alternate radio source.


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