Friday, March 14, 2008 - 6:30 a.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-123 MCC Status Report #07
The newest international component of the orbiting International Space Station has officially reached its home in space. After being prepared for its move by two spacewalkers, the Japanese Logistics Module – Pressurized Section (JLP), the first component of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory, was installed on the station early Friday morning.
With Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Takao Doi at the controls and assisted by Commander Dominic Gorie, the JLP was gently attached to its interim location on the Harmony Node 2 module at 3:06 a.m. CDT. The module, which primarily will be used for storage space atop the larger Kibo Laboratory, will be relocated to its permanent location after the arrival of Kibo on space shuttle Discovery’s STS-124 mission in May.
Preparations for the move were among the tasks accomplished in today’s spacewalk, the first of five planned for the mission. Mission Specialist Rick Linnehan and Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman ventured out of the pressurized confines of the station at 8:18 p.m. to begin the 7-hour, 1-minute spacewalk, which ended at 3:19 a.m.
Once outside the Quest Airlock, they first removed a thermal cover to reveal the Centerline Berthing Camera System on top of the Harmony module. The system provides live video to assist with docking spacecraft and modules together and was used for the attachment of the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section.
Once in the shuttle's payload bay, the two spacewalkers removed contamination covers from the JLP docking mechanism. They also disconnected other power and heater connections, preparing it for its removal.
Next, the two headed to the port truss segment where they worked on the initial assembly of the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, known as “Dextre.” They installed both the Orbital Replacement Unit/Tool Changeout Mechanisms (OTCMs) – the “hands” of Dextre’s arms. The OTCMs are parallel jaws that can hold a payload or tool. They each also have a retractable motorized socket wrench to turn bolts and mate or detach mechanisms, as well as a camera and lights.
Initial attempts to route power to Dextre were not successful Thursday after its unassembled components were temporarily parked on the station's truss in a pallet structure. Canadian Space Agency engineers spent the day developing a software patch to bypass what was initially believed to be a problem in a communications path from the station's robotic workstation to the new device.
But Pierre Jean, CSA's acting ISS program manager, told a Friday morning briefing that a problem with a cable harness on Dextre's pallet housing, and not the robot itself, might be the cause for the initial power glitch. Jean said the grapple of Dextre by the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm later today should initiate the routing of power to Dextre to set the stage for the rest of its assembly over the next few days.
Pilot Greg Johnson also supported the spacewalk activity, overseeing the video operations and Mission Specialist Mike Foreman served as the intravehicular officer, assisting with the choreography of the spacewalks.
Meanwhile, Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson assisted with the pre- and post-spacewalk activities, while Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko worked in the Russian segment.
Friday’s spacewalk marks the 105th devoted to assembly and maintenance of the station with a total cumulative time of 660 hours. The second spacewalk is scheduled for Saturday night.
The next STS-123 status report will be issued after the crew wake up at about 3:30 p.m. CDT or earlier if events warrant.
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