Endeavour’s two space walkers -- Canadian Chris Hadfield and American Scott Parazynski-- worked as space-age electricians today, completing connections that allowed the new International Space Station robotic arm to operate from a new base on the outside of the Destiny science lab.
Expedition 2 Flight Engineers Jim Voss and Susan Helms steered Canadarm2 as it lifted its first payload in space, a 3,000-pound pallet that the 57-foot-long arm had been nestled in for launch in the shuttle’s cargo bay.
Today’s 7 hour, 40 minute spacewalk began at 7:34 a.m. Central time, as Hadfield and Parazynski worked to complete all of the primary goals of the mission, including the connection of the Power and Data Grapple Fixture circuits for the new arm on Destiny, the removal of an early communications antenna and the transfer of a spare Direct Current Switching Unit from the shuttle’s payload bay to an equipment storage rack on the outside of Destiny.
As the pair rewired power and data connections for Canadarm2, the backup power circuit failed to respond to commanding from Helms, who was operating from a workstation inside Destiny. Hadfield and Parazynski opened a panel to gain access to another connector at the base of the arm and after disconnecting and reconnecting cables, were able to complete the redundant power path to the arm to the cheers of flight controllers in Houston.
During the removal of the early communications antenna, an electrical connector cover got away from Hadfield and nestled behind a thermal cover in the docking port to which the airlock will be mated in June. After two unsuccessful attempts to locate the errant piece of metal – which required extensive coordination between the shuttle and station flight control teams on the ground -- Hadfield was instructed to stop searching and to move on to other work. The errant component is not expected to have any impact on future operations. With all of their work successfully completed, Hadfield and Parazynski completed their space walk at 3:15 p.m., bringing the total spacewalk time on STS-100 to 14 hours, 50 minutes. A potential third spacewalk on Thursday likely will not be needed.
Expedition Two Commander Yury Usachev and Station crewmates Voss and Helms started their workday transferring supplies, equipment and experiment racks from the Raffaello cargo module, which is berthed to the Unity connecting node.
After the spacewalk was completed, the two crews turned their attention to reopening the hatches between the station and shuttle. Commander Kent Rominger reported that Endeavour’s crew had returned to the ISS at 5:15 p.m. to set the stage for the resumption of transfer activities on Wednesday. The two crews will begin their sleep periods shortly after 6:30 p.m.
Both spacecraft are in excellent shape orbiting the Earth every 92 minutes at an altitude of 237 statute miles. The next status report will be issued Wednesday morning after crew wakeup, or sooner, if events warrant.
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