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Force Is With Astronauts During Unexpected Spacewalk

by Keith Wagstaff /

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NASA astronauts took an unexpected spacewalk on Monday morning to move a stuck railcar before the arrival of a resupply mission.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Timothy Kopra had been planning to stay put on the International Space Station during the week before Christmas. But their plans changed when the Mobile Transporter — a railcar that moves across the exterior of the station to move astronauts and equipment, including a 58-foot robotic arm — got stuck four inches from a "work site" on Wednesday night.

Early Monday morning, Kelly and Kopra ventured into space and manually released the brakes of the railcar, getting it into position for a Russian resupply mission scheduled to arrive two days later.

"That's one small step for a Mobile Transporter," Rob Navias, a commentator for NASA TV, said during the live broadcast of the spacewalk.

Related: Astronauts Could Take Unexpected Spacewalk Before Christmas

Overall, it was a "textbook" spacewalk, Navias said, with Kelly relaxed enough to stop and take a selfie while orbiting 225 miles above the Earth's surface.

Kelly and Kopra safely re-entered the ISS three hours and 16 minutes after the mission began. So what's next for the astronauts? At some point, they are planning to watch "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" with their 1080p laser projector and special 65-inch screen made specifically for use in the weightlessness of space.

Like many fans, Kelly's Twitter feed has been full of "Star Wars" jokes and references over the last week.

The astronauts aren't planning to go on another spacewalk until mid-January to make repairs and perform maintenance tasks.

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