Noon CDT Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-128 MCC Status Report #12
Two astronauts will venture back into the cosmos today for the second of three planned spacewalks during this mission. Mission specialists Danny Olivas and Christer Fuglesang will install a new ammonia tank on the International Space Station and stow a depleted tank for return to Earth.

Olivas and Fuglesang spent the night in the Quest airlock in preparation for the excursion. They were awakened with the rest of their crewmates at 11:30 a.m. CDT. The wake-up song, “There is a God” by 33 Miles, was played for Mission Specialist Patrick Forrester. Forrester will serve as the intravehicular officer throughout the 6.5-hour spacewalk, which is scheduled to begin at 4:19 p.m.

The spacewalk activity will begin in Discovery’s payload bay where the two spacewalkers will remove the new ammonia tank. They will take a thermal blanket off of the tank and loosen four bolts holding the tank to a cargo carrier. Fuglesang, positioned at the end of the station robotic arm, will hand carry the tank to the truss. Pilot Kevin Ford and Expedition 20 Flight Engineer Nicole Stott will operate the arm for the 30-minute maneuver and other arm operations.

Olivas and Fuglesang will meet at the Port 1 truss to install the tank. They will attach it to the truss with four bolts and connect its fluid lines. Then Olivas will ingress a foot restraint on the truss to remove the depleted tank previously attached to the end of the robotic arm. He will hand it to Fuglesang, who will be on the arm to hold the 1,295-pound tank for the ride to the payload bay.

There, they will install the tank on the carrier rack with four bolts and cover the tank with a thermal blanket. They also will remove a grapple fixture from the tank, to be relocated to the starboard truss for later use.

The remaining crew members, including shuttle commander Rick Sturckow, Mission Specialist Jose Hernandez and station flight engineers Mike Barratt, Robert Thirsk and Frank De Winne will continue unloading the Leonardo cargo module. Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko will continue station maintenance in the Russian segment.

The next shuttle status report will be issued near the end of the crew’s workday, or earlier if events warrant. The crew is due to go to sleep about 3 a.m. Friday.

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