Station Commander Earns New Record
NASA reports International Space
Station Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Sunita
Williams wound up a six-hour, 40-minute spacewalk at 3:06 pm EST
It was the last in an unprecedented series of three spacewalks
in nine days from the Quest airlock, and also marked a new US
spacewalking record. Halfway through the excursion, Lopez-Alegria
passed the previous mark of just more than 58 hours held by
astronaut Jerry Ross.
FOXNews reports Williams and Lopez-Alegria wrapped up their
primary mission -- discarding two old thermal wrap sheets from the
station. The large covers, combined with smaller shrouds, had
provided insulation for an electronics box that is no longer needed
in the station's current orientation. The debris will burn up in
"I don't think I could do it any better than that,"
Lopez-Alegria said to Williams as the first package floated
NASA states the shroud task was followed by deployment of an
Unpressurized Cargo Carrier Assembly Attachment System (UCCAS) on
the upper face of the P3 truss. That was done in preparation for
attachment of a cargo carrier during a subsequent shuttle mission.
While Lopez-Alegria finished work on the UCCAS, Williams (shown
below) moved to the end of the P5 truss to remove two launch locks,
to prepare for the relocation of the P6 Truss.
The final scheduled task of the spacewalk was connecting four
cables of the Shuttle-to-Station Power Transfer System (SSPTS) to
Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 (PMA-2) at the forward end of the
Destiny laboratory where shuttles dock. The SSPTS will allow
visiting shuttles to take power from the station and thus extend
Work began on the system during the first spacewalk of the series on January
31. Two of the cables were routed and connected to
PMA-2 on the February 4 spacewalk, with
the last four cables connected to the PMA Thursday.
Lopez-Alegria also completed one get-ahead task. He took
pictures of the connections on the PMA that provide communications
between the station and shuttle while docked and before the hatches
The three spacewalks from the Quest airlock in US spacesuits --
along with a Russian spacewalk scheduled for February 22 -- are the
most ever done by station crew members during so short a period.
They will bring to 10 the total number of spacewalks by
Lopez-Alegria, an astronaut record. Williams has a total of four,
the most ever by a woman.
In two weeks, Lopez-Alegria and cosmonaut MikhailTyurin are
scheduled to perform the Russian spacewalk in Orlan suits, from the
Pirs airlock. They will work on an antenna of the Progress 23
unpiloted cargo carrier, docked at the aft port of the Zvezda
As reported by ANN, that
antenna did not properly retract when that spacecraft docked in
October. The spacewalkers will try to secure or remove the antenna
to avoid its interfering with the undocking of P23 in April.