Third And Final Outing Planned For Saturday
Success! International Space Station Commander Peggy Whitson and
Flight Engineer Dan Tani wound up a seven-hour, 16-minute spacewalk
Tuesday afternoon to outfit the Harmony node in its new position in
front of the US laboratory Destiny.
The spacewalkers wrapped up the excursion at 1226 EST Tuesday,
according to NASA. The two connected electricity and fluid lines
between the space station and the Harmony module.
The Associated Press reports connecting the ammonia coolant
lines posed the greatest challenge. The lines were stored in an
18.5-foot, 300-pound tray secured to the station's main truss
assembly; even in microgravity, the two astronauts had to take
turns pulling the container to Harmony.
"Don't get it going too fast," Whitson warned Tani at one
After connections were established, Whitson was struck by frozen
ammonia crystals during a venting operation. NASA told Whitson the
crystals did not pose a hazard, as the sun would bake any crystals
Whitson was unable to shake off.
Tani also experienced a minor incident, when the outermost layer
of his right glove abraded as he hooked up the fluid lines... the
third time in the past year that issue has cropped up. Tani
suggested the operation led to the damage.
"Maybe not the big smoking gun we're hoping for, but something,"
A third and final outing to ready Harmony for next month's
scheduled arrival of the shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for
Saturday... after which time, the three-person crew onboard the ISS
will finally have the chance to rest a bit. As ANN reported, the crew has
worked nearly nonstop since the shuttle Discovery left the station
two weeks ago.
The crew has even offered to work on Thanksgiving. "With this
particular crew on board, I don't know if holidays mean anything to
them. They are just a hard-charging, get-it-done crew," said
station manager Kenny Todd last week. "We'll have to make sure they
understand that it's Thanksgiving, and take some time and take a
In other news, NASA is still working to determine which parts of
a jammed joint on one of the station's two
solar panel arrays are wearing against one another...
and how to fix the problem. As many as four spacewalks may be
needed to clean and repair the joint before the arrival of Japan's
Kibo module next year.