NASA News

3:30 p.m. CST Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
11.19.09
STATUS REPORT : STS-129-07
STS-129 MCC Status Report #07
HOUSTON – Spacewalking Atlantis astronauts completed their planned work ahead of schedule Thursday and did a major additional task.

Mission Specialists Mike Foreman and Robert Satcher wound up the six-hour, 37-minute spacewalk at 3:01 p.m. CST. It was the first of three spacewalks scheduled for Atlantis’ mission to the International Space Station, a flight devoted largely to bringing sizeable spare parts to the station to be attached to its exterior.

The focus of other Atlantis crew members, Commander Charles Hobaugh, Pilot Barry Wilmore and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin and Randy Bresnik, was mostly on supporting the spacewalk or related activities.

Bresnik served as the intravehicular officer for the spacewalk, choreographing activities of his crewmates outside, while Melvin and Wilmore operated the station’s robotic arm. Hobaugh helped provide photo and television coverage of the spacewalk.

The spacewalk officially began at 8:24 a.m. when Foreman and Satcher switched their suits to internal power. Their first task was to install a spare S-band antenna structural assembly on the station’s Z1 truss. That was completed about an hour ahead of schedule.

The spacewalkers then separated. Foreman installed cables for a space-to-ground antenna on the Destiny laboratory and replaced a handrail on the Unity node with one having a bracket to route an ammonia cable for the Tranquility Node to be delivered next year. He also successfully connected a cable on the Unity Node, which in September had defied efforts by STS-128 astronauts.

Satcher lubricated the latching end effector on the Japanese robotic arm and a similar attachment device on the station’s mobile base system. They were almost two hours ahead when the last scheduled task was completed.

The get-ahead task, completed after spacewalkers visited the airlock to pick up required tools and recharge Foreman’s oxygen, involved installation of a Payload Attach System (PAS). It was one of three such jobs planned for the second spacewalk. Installation of this PAS, on the Earth-facing side of the Starboard 3 truss, had been scheduled as a 1.5-hour job on the Saturday spacewalk.

Foreman and Bresnik are scheduled for that second spacewalk on Saturday while Satcher is to do the third spacewalk on Monday with Bresnik.

Inside the station, Commander Frank De Winne and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams started work in the Harmony Node on data, power and cooling lines and air flow connections for Tranquility. That work is expected to continue for several days.

The next shuttle status report will be issued after crew wake-up, or earlier if events warrant.

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