Astronauts take spacewalk to fix International Space Station

Crew will spend six hours replacing failed equipment

Published On: Aug 30 2012 09:07:03 AM EDT   Updated On: Aug 31 2012 07:58:20 AM EDT
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -

It's another week and another spacewalk at the International Space Station.

Two astronauts -- an American and Japanese -- ventured out Thursday to replace failed space station equipment.

Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide expect to spend six hours plugging in a new power-switching unit, hooking up power cables, and replacing a bad camera on the space station's big robotic arm.

[Related: NASA launches twin satellites to radiation belt]

It's the second spacewalk in less than two weeks. On Aug. 20, two Russians worked outside the orbiting lab.

This latest flurry of spacewalks aside, it's no longer common for astronauts to step into the vacuum of space. That's because after almost 14 years, the space station is virtually complete and running well. Plus NASA's shuttles are retired and now museum pieces.