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Spacewalkers take extra safety precautions for toxic ammonia

Photo: NASA
Photo: NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Spacewalking astronauts are back safe inside the International Space Station after ridding their suits of any toxic ammonia.

NASA's Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins had no trouble Saturday venting a couple of ammonia coolant lines that are part of the International Space Station's external cooling system.

But so much ammonia spewed out that Mission Control said it was going to be conservative and require inspections. The astronauts' first suit check found nothing amiss.

As the nearly seven-hour spacewalk drew to a close, Mission Control said the astronauts spent so much time in sunlight that any ammonia residue would have baked off.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.