Thursday, September 03, 2009

pacewalk for STS-128 Crew

Expedition 20 flight engineer Nicole Stott participates in the STS-128 mission's first spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. During the six-hour, 35-minute spacewalk, Stott and astronaut Danny Olivas (out of frame) removed an empty ammonia tank from the station's truss and temporarily stowed it on the station's robotic arm. Olivas and Stott also retrieved the European Technology Exposure Facility and Materials International Space Station Experiment from the Columbus laboratory module and installed them on Discovery's payload bay for return.

Two astronauts are conducting the second of three planned spacewalks during this mission. Mission specialists Danny Olivas and Christer Fuglesang will install a new ammonia tank on the International Space Station and stow a depleted tank for return to Earth.

Olivas and Fuglesang spent the night in the Quest airlock in preparation for the excursion. Mission Specialist Patrick Forrester is serving as the intravehicular officer throughout the 6.5-hour spacewalk, which began at 6:12 p.m. EDT.

The spacewalk activity begins in Discovery’s payload bay where the two spacewalkers will remove the new ammonia tank. They will take a thermal blanket off of the tank and loosen four bolts holding the tank to a cargo carrier. Fuglesang, positioned at the end of the station robotic arm, will hand carry the tank to the truss. Pilot Kevin Ford and Expedition 20 Flight Engineer Nicole Stott will operate the arm for the 30-minute maneuver and other arm operations.

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