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Technical problem delays space station streaming-video venture

By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Spacewalking cosmonauts on Friday installed two cameras outside the International Space Station for a Canadian streaming-video business but then retrieved the gear after electrical connections failed, officials said.

Station commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy left the station's Pirs airlock at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) as the complex sailed 260 miles over Australia, mission commentator Rob Navias said during a NASA Television broadcast of the spacewalk.

It was third spacewalk this week by members of the station's six-man crew. NASA astronauts Rich Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins made spacewalks on Saturday and Tuesday to replace a failed cooling pump.

During the first part of Friday's planned seven-hour outing, the Russian cosmonauts set up a high-definition video camera on a swiveling platform and a medium-resolution still imager for Vancouver-based UrtheCast Corp.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, agreed to host the cameras on the $100 billion station, a project of 15 countries, in exchange for rights to use images and video taken over Russia. UrtheCast has commercial rights to images and video of the rest of the world, company Chief Executive Scott Larson told Reuters.

UrtheCast plans to sell data to companies and government agencies that buy Earth-observing satellite imagery. It also plans to stream images over the Internet for free to subscribers, with the aim of attracting advertisers and sponsors.

But those plans are on hold after an unknown glitch kept the cameras, located outside the station's Zvezda command module, from communicating with ground stations.

"Unfortunately, those cameras ... did not provide any electrical signals on the ground," Navias said.

Kotov and Ryazanskiy disconnected the cameras so they could be brought back inside the station for further analysis. The extra work meant that the cosmonauts did not have time to replace several science experiments, tasks that were originally slated for Friday's outing.

(Editing by Kevin Gray and Steve Orlofsky)

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