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Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - 3:00 a.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-123 MCC Status Report #15
Astronauts Rick Linnehan and Bob Behnken completed a 6 hour 53 minute spacewalk today, finishing the assembly and installation of the International Space Station’s newest robot, Dextre. Today’s spacewalk was the third of five planned for the STS-123 mission and was the 107th spacewalk dedicated to the assembly of the station.

Linnehan and Behnken focused on installing Dextre’s tool holder assembly and a Camera Light Pan Tilt Assembly (CLPA), which will serve as Dextre’s eyes. The spacewalkers also prepared the Spacelab Logistics Pallet, on which the robot was assembled, for its return to Endeavour’s cargo bay Tuesday evening.

The astronauts also installed spare equipment for the station on an external platform on the Quest airlock, including a yaw joint for the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, and two spare direct current switching units.

The spacewalkers attempted to install the MISSE 6 experiment onto the Columbus module, but were unable to properly engage latching pins used to hold the experiment packages onto the hull of Columbus. MISSE 6 is designed to expose experiments to the space environment for six months and measure how materials and coatings are affected by the extreme environment.

Tuesday night, the crew will again use the station’s robotic arm to grapple Dextre and move it to a power and data grapple fixture (PDGF) on the Destiny laboratory where it will reside. The next spacewalk by Behnken and Mike Foreman is scheduled for Thursday, when they will practice shuttle tile repair techniques and replace a failed circuit breaker on the station’s truss.

Endeavour Commander Dom Gorie spent part of the day examining minor condensation on a cooling line under the floorboards of the shuttle’s mid-deck. The condensation was noted after some noises were detected in that area. Flight controllers say the condensation has no impact on shuttle operations, but the cooling line may be inspected periodically during the remainder of the mission.

The next STS-123 status report will be issued after crew wake-up Tuesday afternoon or earlier if events warrant.

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