NASA's Christmas Eve Spacewalk Ends in Success

Astronauts Rick Mastracchio, Mike Hopkins replace cooling system pump on the International Space Station.
3:00 | 12/24/13

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Transcript for NASA's Christmas Eve Spacewalk Ends in Success
This is a special group. I'm -- company -- -- this ABC news digital special report. After a grueling seven hours in space the two American astronauts working outside the International Space Station are. Now safely back inside the Christmas Eve spacewalk by most accounts all accounts a success. Astronauts Rick mr. -- and Mike Hopkins have fixed a broken cooling system the new pump could ago and now the astronauts just have to flip the switch and get the system working. From the inside. ABC's Martha Gonzales has -- -- spacewalk -- morning -- and joining us now with the latest on this so Marcy looks like old systems ago. That's right and it until one small issue which led to. A very minor ammonia leak but that problem was quickly contained and we're told the rest of the spacewalk went just as planned. As Santa makes his way across the planet two American astronauts are also circling earth. Giving the gift of a much needed repair to the International Space Station. Mike Hopkins taking a special sleigh ride on this Christmas Eve of holding at least 780 pound pump module 45 years to -- day after this iconic photo was taken by the crew of the Apollo eight. -- You'll another beautiful little as astronauts Rick -- -- and Mike Hopkins spent the morning on a dangerous spacewalk. Replacing a massive cooling pump on the space station. Colin basketball if you look -- That voice talking the American astronauts through their mission. Doug wheelock who did this seems spacewalk just three years ago it's again the difference between nine -- -- when you hear. -- -- -- -- Reassurance so critical especially with such a dangerous task one -- -- tailored to their spacesuits they would die instantly. Recent problems with those 35 year old space -- adding to the fear in July water leaked into an Italian astronauts helmet almost drowning him. I experienced what a -- to be a -- CC -- -- from the point of view of that other -- cities. Under water did get into the -- you -- at the end of Saturday's spacewalk. We want to try that out overnight but today no such problems no issues with -- -- reported this Christmas -- nation one step closer to being accomplished. Earlier. And this is only the second Christmas Eve spacewalk in NASA history the other with in 1999 during a repair mission. For the Hubble space telescope valiant interest rates -- now there were three planned. For this time around it seems as if they've gotten everything done in two so is that third one still on schedule. Right they had planned. Tentatively for another spacewalk tomorrow Christmas -- -- spacewalk. But since they got it all done today it seems they will not have to go back out there tomorrow there planning to just have it quiet Christmas. The space station radio no work plan. Isn't that would everywhere. You write anything RC Gonzales on the latest on that Marcy thank you for that. So for more on the successful -- collaborating ABC's -- Ellis was in Houston Texas jury on on -- so Ryan is by all accounts in the everything went as planned. Right -- astronaut art not quite done there in the airlock which is where -- -- re pressurized from. The document states where they get back into the comforts of the International Space Station. They are but as you heard mark mark -- talk about minor or delete. Just stop your report that it intimidation process right now -- -- -- that. Outlook on their suit an -- and certainly don't direct talks with him back into the patient they're going decontamination. Stories they should take about fifteen. -- which boys don't start the full report accurately. Epic about an hour and LB. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- out here department. As lovely as you can leave soared above the year Christmas -- where the other businesses is that the second spacewalk. For Mike Hopkins -- he was eight more veteran -- -- -- it's not -- though despite the -- has been an emergency spacewalk -- to trouble they're concerned about -- You know you talk -- astronauts down here where the talk of space -- has been for a couple of days. And -- market it freaked him how big of an emergency spacewalk and hurt market based ones here one week taking dye. Be answered here are. And why they they -- -- the main thing and that is look we care emergency spacewalks. Are so excited we can't wait people want to get out there and -- six that you guys -- included a they train for years and years please -- -- only yet. Rick and that's what it is eight space walk and he's considered a better don't -- or they're trying to better and -- to -- -- out you know they're buying. And scary and dangerous to -- Look on the ground there excitement for this kind of stopped so I think -- you know -- fingers that this like this but the ultimate Christmas present but he. I guess it takes a different kind of person -- how to -- excited about something like that. So let me ask you this -- the -- spend on the outside the -- is still on the to do list from inside the station to get that cooling system up and running. Well they have to do a series looked outside she you know we we talk about this we over romanticized. Whole program and look at how beautiful the pictures aren't look at you. But I gotta tell you and the actual work they do it so tedious and so all we want them -- two hours connecting. Opt for a little political line. That will run this cool at the station and get the kind of thing that particular well why -- you all major garage. So -- that they completed that the initial chat on the -- Seem to be working but they need to -- an additional fluid and they need to fully activated all of that we are. The wall everything right now -- indicating. It -- It is going to be a few hours before they fully get everything -- Activated it and make absolutely certain that everything work right now all indications are these two spacewalk got the job done and it sure Marcy -- They're hoping for relaxing Christmas as relaxing -- be on the international. Right I mean what a great characterization is not because you're actually right we do romanticize about this and it is fascinating to see. You know screw drivers -- any kind of tools that we would use here on earth being used up to -- twenty miles above the surface there. And it's crazy to see I mean they're tethered essentially by -- -- right having a lot of the program has been highlighted by gravity with George Clooney and and and a bullet they mean. You know that going back to -- -- line between fiction and reality but at the same time though is still fascinating but tedious work as you point out so. I know Russian cosmonauts they've got -- span they've got a planned spacewalk later this week what is on their schedule. They go on Friday it if it goes as scheduled and there are actually going to melt some cameras -- -- Part of bay. Part of -- adventure that they're going to be out doing some work for. Or there but this obviously is the one that everyone paying attention to in the west but what -- -- -- third one. Would it be on Christmas Day -- -- -- to -- today after. -- -- now there's just a lot of relief but at least it appears. This what is now out of the way. Very good and and Ryan have we heard what they're gonna be doing -- how they're going to be spending Christmas. We happen to others not yet not joking meant we. In all developer of the new cooling -- and boy we hope we typically -- under the tree on the International Space Station. I. I'm not sure I think these -- -- at least are going to be giving weight but it not much. I absolutely in the ABC's Brian -- in Texas right thank you so much of course happy holidays to you. A complete recap right here on For now I'm Dan -- and its. Special.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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