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Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - 8:30 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-124 MCC Status Report #07
Closely choreographed spacewalking and robotics work led to the installation of a new, and the largest, laboratory on the International Space Station.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide installed the Kibo laboratory noting, “We have a new hope on the International Space Station." Kibo means “hope” in Japanese.

Using the station’s robotic arm, Hoshide and astronaut Karen Nyberg removed the lab from Discovery’s payload bay at 3:49 p.m. It was latched in place on the Harmony node at 6:01 p.m. and the installation procedure was complete at 6:42 p.m. Wednesday the crew will enter the new lab.

During a six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk, Mike Fossum and Ron Garan prepared the Kibo lab for installation on the station by disconnecting cables and removing covers while it was still in the payload bay.

Fossum and Garan also assisted with transfer of the orbiter boom sensor system (OBSS) back to the shuttle from the station, where it has been stored since the last shuttle visit. Now the OBSS is attached to the shuttle robotic arm and can be used for a later inspection of Discovery’s heat shield on flight day 12.

The Mission Management Team today decided that a focused inspection of Discovery’s heat shield is not required on flight day 5. The decision was based on a thorough review of imagery and data obtained during the shuttle’s launch, an inspection using the shuttle robotic arm and the orbiter’s approach to the space station.

The spacewalkers also demonstrated a technique that may be used to clean debris from the station solar alpha rotary joint, which has known debris degrading its operation. Garan installed a new bearing in the joint and during an inspection of a race ring within the joint, Fossum reported that a spot that had been identified on earlier spacewalks is indeed a divot. Station managers will use that information to continue researching the origin of the damage.

Today’s spacewalk was the first of three scheduled for the mission. It was the first for Garan and the fourth for Fossum. It began at 11:22 a.m. and concluded at 6:10 p.m.

The next status report will be issued after the crew awakens, which is scheduled for 5:32 a.m. Wednesday, or earlier if events warrant.

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