Endeavour astronauts completed the second of the STS-97 mission’s three space walks Tuesday, hooking up power and data cables and connecting ammonia coolant lines between the International Space Station’s new solar array truss and the rest of the ISS. They also prepared a docking port for a January move to another area on the space station to get ready for arrival of the U.S. laboratory Destiny.
Carlos Noriega and Joe Tanner began their space walk at 11:21 a.m. Before moving on to the cable connections, they surveyed the starboard solar wing to better understand the condition of the tensioning system that extends one of its two solar array blankets. Engineers, flight controllers and managers continue to develop possible plans for Noriega and Tanner to further tension that blanket on the third space walk, scheduled for Thursday.
During their 6 hour, 37 minute space walk, Noriega and Tanner moved the S-band antenna assembly to the top of the solar array tower. They also released restraints holding a radiator to the tower’s side. It is designed to help cool Destiny. That radiator was deployed after the space walk.
Destiny is scheduled to be launched to the space station Jan. 18. The docking port, Pressurized Mating Adapter 2, will be moved temporarily from its spot at the forward end of the Unity module, where the laboratory will be attached. The docking port then will be placed on the forward end of Destiny.
Endeavour Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Mike Bloomfield and Mission Specialist Mark Garneau supported the space walk. Inside the space station, the Expedition One crew, Commander Bill Shepherd and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, went into Unity for the second time in their 35 days aboard the station. There they reconfigured cables to route electricity from the new solar arrays to the rest of the space station.
The work kept the station crew members up past their scheduled 3:36 p.m. bedtime. Endeavour’s crew was scheduled to begin its sleep period about 10:30 p.m., and are scheduled to be awakened at 6:36 a.m. on Wednesday.
The second space walk brings this crew’s total to 14 hours and 10 minutes outside the space station, and total space walk time outside the station for all flights to 83 hours and 44 minutes. The next STS-97 status report will be issued Wednesday morning.
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