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Spacewalking Astronauts Try To Find Ammonia Leak

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(Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

(Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

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CAPE CANAVERAL (CBSMiami/AP) – A pair astronauts aboard the International Space Station are performing a spacewalk to track down an ammonia leak in a critical radiator system.

Station commander Sunita Williams and Japanese crewmate Akihiko Hoshide ventured out Thursday morning. They will isolate plumbing to help flight controllers locate the leak and open a spare radiator.

Their spacewalk got under way just hours after the orbiting lab had to dodge a piece of space junk.

On Wednesday evening, thrusters on a docked Russian supply ship were fired to move the space station out of harm’s way. But a computer error caused the thrusters to malfunction, and the station did not reach the desired altitude.

NASA says the station and its six residents are safe despite their lower-than-intended orbit. The menacing debris is a satellite fragment.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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