STS-129 MCC Status Report #11
4 p.m. CST Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
HOUSTON – It’s two down and one to go for Atlantis’ spacewalkers.
Mike Foreman and Randy Bresnik wound up a successful 6-hour, 8-minute outing after completing their scheduled tasks ahead of schedule and get-ahead jobs. The official end of the spacewalk was at 2:39 p.m. CST. It was the second of the three scheduled during Atlantis’ visit to the International Space Station.
The start was a little later than planned, about 8:30 a.m., because a false depressurization alarm had sounded on the station at 8:53 p.m. Friday, interrupting the crews’ sleep and the spacewalkers’ campout in the Quest airlock. The spacewalkers completed the process of reducing the nitrogen in their blood by doing exercise while breathing oxygen.
The first job was installing an antenna assembly called GATOR on a Columbus module handrail. The assembly includes an antenna for a ship identification system and another for ham radio. With support from intravehicular officer Robert Satcher Jr., they completed that task about 40 minutes ahead of schedule.
Then they relocated the station’s floating potential measurement unit to the Port 1 Truss. The device, which measures electrical potential of the station, was moved to make way for an alpha magnetic spectrometer to be delivered next year.
Next, after a trip back to the airlock to recharge the spacesuits’ oxygen, was deployment of a payload attachment system on the upper part of the Starboard 3 (S3) Truss. The first PAS was deployed ahead of schedule during the Thursday spacewalk, so installation of the second, which had been scheduled for Monday’s spacewalk, was moved up to today.
The PAS is a stowage system for spare parts. To set it up, the spacewalkers had to remove two braces, swing out the PAS from the truss on which it was launched, and then reattach the braces to support it in its new position.
The final scheduled task of the spacewalk was installation of a wireless video system on S3. The system transmits video from the cameras on spacewalkers’ helmets. They finished that chore more than an hour ahead of schedule.
Flight controllers added get-head tasks. The major one was deployment of a third PAS, this one on the Earth-facing side of S3. Most recently that job had been added to the third spacewalk, but the crew was so far ahead, they were told to do it Saturday. The task was accomplished smoothly and quickly.
The crew also disconnected, examined, photographed and reconnected the troublesome antenna cable Discovery astronauts on STS-128 had been unable to hook up. Thursday spacewalkers had succeeded in mating the cable, but instrument readings were not as expected.
Finally, the spacewalkers moved a tool stanchion on Pressurized Mating Adaptor 1, which links the U.S. and Russian segments of the station, and relocated an articulated portable foot restraint.
Just before the beginning of the Saturday spacewalk, Express Logistics Carrier 2 was installed on S3 by the station’s robotic arm, operated by Mission Specialists Leland Melvin and Nicole Stott. It holds almost 10,000 pounds of large spares for the station, including an attitude-control gyroscope, a high-pressure oxygen tank and a pump module.
A sister cargo carrier, ELC 1, also came to the station on Atlantis and was installed at about the time the first spacewalk began on Thursday.
The next shuttle status report will be issued Sunday after crew wake-up.
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