Astronauts Dave Wolf and Piers Sellers moved smoothly and ahead of schedule through their second spacewalk of the week today, continuing to bring the International Space Station's newest component to life and installing devices to prevent future difficulties with station cooling connections.
The spacewalk began at 9:31 a.m. CDT and ended about a half-hour early at about 3:35 p.m. CDT for an official duration of six hours, four minutes. About six and a half hours had originally been allotted for the spacewalk, the second of three ventures outside the station planned for Wolf and Sellers during STS-112 to set up the new station S1 (S-One) truss segment delivered by Atlantis.
The duo prepared a new handcar system for future use on the station's truss-mounted railway. Called the Crew and Equipment Translation Aid, the car will allow astronauts to propel themselves, maintenance and construction equipment hand-over-hand along what eventually will be a 100-yard railway atop the station's truss. The spacewalkers also installed 22 Spool Positioning Devices (SPDs) on station ammonia cooling line connections, devices that will prevent a possible condition that could lock up those connections, preventing them from being opened if needed.
Two more such devices were to be installed during the spacewalk, bringing the total to 24, but they were not attached. Due to a different configuration than anticipated on the two line connections in question, the additional two SPDs would not have fit properly. However, space station engineers and managers have determined those two connections are in a satisfactory condition and will not require any further work.
Other work included the installation of an additional exterior station television camera outside of the Destiny Laboratory; hooking up an ammonia supply for lines to a radiator on the new truss segment that will be deployed Monday afternoon; and checking equipment that will be used to add the next starboard truss segment to the station in the fall of 2003.
During today's spacewalk, STS-112 Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus and ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson operated the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm, using it to position the spacewalkers at various times. Prior to today's outing by Wolf and Sellers, Atlantis Commander Jeff Ashby and Pilot Pam Melroy fired the shuttle's small steering jets periodically over the course of an hour to boost the altitude of the shuttle and station by about 4 statute miles. The shuttle will perform another boost of altitude for the complex tomorrow, raising it an additional 2 miles.
The station and shuttle crews will begin a sleep period at 7:46 p.m. CDT and awaken at 3:46 a.m. CDT Sunday.
The next status report will be issued Sunday morning, or earlier if events warrant.
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