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Astronauts take second spacewalk, overcome stiff bolt

CAPE CANAVERAL — Spacewalking astronauts had to pull out a hammer and pry bar while attaching a big, new tank full of ammonia coolant to the International Space Station on Sunday, finally driving in a stiff bolt after two frustrating hours.

The 215-mile-high action unfolded on the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13.

Making their second spacewalk in three days, Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson banged and pulled and shoved, with no success, on the stuck bolt. They undid the good bolts and jostled the 1,700-pound, refrigerator-size tank in case it was misaligned. Finally, after they maneuvered the tank from a different angle, the troublesome bolt slid into place.

"You got to be kidding me!" Anderson shouted.

"Did it go in?" astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger asked from inside.

"Yes, yes. You got to be kidding me," Anderson replied. "It is in there." Then he paused for effect. "Now what do we do?"

As he turned the 6-inch bolt a dozen times, Anderson urged, "Come on, baby. Get on there. Yeah, get 'er done."

Mission Control put off the fluid line hookups for the tank and a few other chores, saying they could be completed in the third and final spacewalk Tuesday.

Astronauts take second spacewalk, overcome stiff bolt 04/11/10 [Last modified: Sunday, April 11, 2010 11:36pm]

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