Tue, Feb 16, 2010
Tranquility Viewport To Be Ready For Use Later This Week
The International Space Station’s new viewport is facing
the Earth now, ready to provide a panoramic view of the planet
below and approaching cargo ships. Relocation of the cupola from
the Tranquility node’s forward port to its new location was
completed at 0131 EST Monday.
Space shuttle Endeavour Mission Specialist Kathryn Hire and
Pilot Terry Virts moved the cupola, operating the station’s
Canadarm2 from controls in the U.S. laboratory, Destiny. Station
Commander Jeff Williams operated the latches and bolts that
released the cupola from its launch location and then secured it to
its new home.
There was a minor delay in releasing the cupola. The bolts
attaching it to its launch position on Tranquility had been torqued
in Earth’s gravity and were a little tighter than expected.
Flight controllers slightly increased the torque to release the
bolts, resolving the problem. The cupola’s attachment to the
Earth-facing port went smoothly.
Outfitting of the cupola, including preparations for filling
water lines and for installation of a robotics workstation there,
continued. Crew members are expected to get their first look out
the cupola windows after Tuesday’s third and final scheduled
spacewalk of Endeavour’s stay at the station.
Endeavour’s spacewalkers, Mission Specialists Robert
Behnken and Nicholas Patrick, spent about an hour and a half early
in their day preparing for that excursion. Part of those
preparations involved resizing another spacesuit for Behnken. The
suit he wore on the first two spacewalks had some communications
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