9:00 a.m. CST Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-126 MCC Status Report #08
The first of four spacewalks scheduled for Endeavour crew members at the International Space Station will highlight today’s activities in orbit.

Much of the work by Endeavour crew members, Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Eric Boe and mission specialists Don Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Greg Chamitoff, will involve the spacewalk and transfer of equipment and supplies between the station and Endeavour.

The crew got its wakeup call at 7:55 a.m. CST. The song was “City of Blinding Lights,” by U2. It was played for Kimbrough.

Piper, in a red-striped suit, and Bowen, in the all-white suit, will leave the Quest airlock at 12:45 p.m. for the 6.5-hour spacewalk. Their tasks, like most of those on the remaining three spacewalks, will focus on the station’s Solar Alpha Rotary Joints (SARJ).

The joints are designed to rotate the station’s 240-foot solar arrays, to keep them facing the sun for maximum production of electricity. Last year flight controllers noted an increase in power consumption by the starboard SARJ, and it has seen limited use. The port SARJ is working fine, but it will be lubricated during the fourth spacewalk.

Today’s spacewalkers also will take a depleted nitrogen tank from a station stowage platform to Endeavour’s cargo bay and move a flex hose rotary coupler from the shuttle to that station stowage platform. Additionally, they will remove an insulation blanket on the Japanese laboratory Kibo.

Kimbrough, who will participate in the second and fourth spacewalks, will be today’s intravehicular officer, the spacewalk choreographer. Pettit and Expedition 18’s Sandra Magnus will operate the Canadarm2 robotic arm during the spacewalk, while Boe also will provide support.

Chamitoff and Ferguson will help with spacewalk preparations in the airlock, where the spacewalkers spent the night in lower air pressure to remove nitrogen from their systems. Station Commander Mike Fincke and others also will transfer cargo.

Endeavour’s crew is scheduled to go to bed at 11:55 p.m. today and be awakened at 7:55 a.m. Wednesday. The next shuttle status report will be issued at the end of the crew day, or earlier if events warrant.

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