200th spacewalk starts with a glitch, then ends up making history

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But it wasn't awesome from the beginning.

NASA has experienced a series of problems with water leaking inside the astronauts' helmets, most notably in 2013, when water began filling Italian Luca Parmitano's headpiece, forcing him to cut short his spacewalk and make an emergency re-entry into the space lab.

Playing it safe, flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center chose to shorten the spacewalk to four hours and to eliminate all tasks other than the highest priority item, replacement of a 200-pound avionics box on an external logistics platform. The astronauts spent 4 hours and 13 minutes on the spacewalk, and managed to blast through much more work than expected.

Whitson and Fischer were to replace a large avionics box responsible for supplying electricity, data connections and replacement hardware outside of the space station.

The duo got through the task so quickly that they were given the go-ahead to add back a few more.

NASA astronauts are hitting a big milestone today: the 200th spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS).

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Fischer was also able to install a protective shield and a foot restraint on PMA-3, an attachment that will help commercial craft dock with the station via a future International Docking Adaptor. Officials suggested eventually transitioning the ISS from NASA to the private space industry.

With landing September 3, Whitson's total time in space over three missions will stand at 666 days, moving her up to eighth in the world, just behind Yurchikhin at No. 7 with 673 days in orbit and six other cosmonauts.

The roughly four hour spacewalk included installing a communications antenna and a new High-definitional Camera.

This spacewalk was supposed to take place in early April, but was put on hold because of delays in launching the replacement box and spectrometer equipment.

When compared with the relative safety of living and working inside the Space Station, floating around in space with only a tether to keep you firmly attached to your home above Earth isn't exactly a super safe position.

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