Astronaut and Waterbury native Rick Mastracchio will be spending his Christmas holiday in a space suit repairing a failed coolant pump on the International Space Station.

“Have not looked out the window in 4 days. Too busy building space suits. Where did I put my gloves?” Mastracchio tweeted on December 17.

NASA has scheduled space walks on Dec. 21, 23 and 25, with each lasting approximately six and a half hours. Mastracchio and crewmate Mike Hopkins will remove the failed pump module, retrieve a spare pump module that is stowed on a platform outside the station, and then install the spare pump module to restore one of the station’s two cooling loops.  The cooling loops circulate ammonia to keep the station’s equipment at a steady temperature.

Read more about the Connecticut-made spacesuits

The crew is not in immediate danger, but the station is now relying only on a single cooling loop without any redundancy. NASA decided restoring the second loop was important enough to delay a commercial cargo mission to the station until after the first of the year. This is not the first time a pump has failed – a similar issue required a similar repair effort in 2010. Astronauts also investigated a potential leak in the system in May, 2013.

NASA TV will cover the spacewalks live, with broadcasts beginning at 6:15 a.m. on all three dates.

Watch an interview with Mastracchio prior to launch:

YouTube video

Lon Seidman is the host and producer of “Lon.TV,” a consumer technology video show that is on a number of platforms including YouTube and Amazon. He creates in-depth, consumer-friendly product reviews and commentary. His YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views.

In addition to being a full-time content creator, Lon is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford (his alma mater) where he teaches a course in entrepreneurial content creation.

Prior to becoming a full-time creator, Lon was a partner at The Safety Zone, his family’s business that manufactures gloves and safety equipment. The company has locations around the globe and employs over 200 people worldwide. The Safety Zone was acquired by the Genuine Parts Corporation in 2016.

Lon is also active in public service, serving as the Chairman of the Essex Board of Education, a member of the Region 4 Board of Education, and as the Secretary / Treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He was endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans for his re-election in 2021.

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