Wed, Nov 19, 2008
But Keep An Eye Out For A Missing Tool Bag...
The first spacewalk of the STS-126 mission is in the books...
but it wasn't without some drama.
Mission specialists Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen
reentered the station at 8:01 pm EST Tuesday, following a 6-hour,
52-minute EVA. NASA reports the astronauts completed all planned
tasks on the first of four planned spacewalks, and also worked on
some get-ahead tasks -- including the replacement of a nitrogen
tank assembly, assorted station assembly tasks, and the start of
cleaning and lubrication of the starboard solar alpha rotary joint
Inside the station, STS-126 mission specialist Don Pettit and
Expedition 18 flight engineer Sandra Magnus operated the station's
robotic arm, and mission specialist Shane Kimbrough served as the
intravehicular officer, or spacewalk coordinator.
Though the spacewalk was an overall success, not everything went
according to plan -- particularly for Stefanyshyn-Piper. When she
discovered that a grease gun inside her tool bag had leaked, she
attempted to clean the lubricant from the tools inside... but then
lost her grip on the bag itself, leaving her little choice but to
watch it float away.
Fortunately, the astronaut was able to share tools with Bowen,
and both completed their initial service work on the SARJ.
Meanwhile, NASA controllers are tracking the errant tool bag...
which they say is gradually floating away from the station's
Still, anchor Brian Williams of the 'NBC Nightly News' had some
helpful advice. "If you're out taking a walk tonight and you find
some grease guns or clean wipes, you're urged to call NASA. They'd
love to get it back."
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