HOUSTON – Astronauts Randy Bresnik and Robert Satcher Jr. completed all the tasks of their spacewalk almost on its original schedule despite a late start.
The spacewalk was the third and final spacewalk scheduled during Atlantis’ mission to the International Space Station. It ended at 1:06 p.m. CST, lasting five hours and 42 minutes.
Intravehicular officer, coaching the spacewalkers from inside the station, was Mission Specialist Mike Foreman, who participated in the Thursday and Saturday spacewalks. Astronauts Leland Melvin and Barry Wilmore operated the station’s robotic Canadarm2.
It played a major role in the spacewalk’s first and most lengthy task, the installation of a 6.2-foot-long, 1,240-pound high-pressure oxygen tank. The arm lifted the tank from Express Logistics Carrier 2 (ELC2) and took it to the airlock, where it was attached. It joined four similar doghouse-shaped tanks, two oxygen and two nitrogen, on the airlock’s rim.
While Satcher worked on early steps of the tank move, Bresnik got a materials experiment from Atlantis’ cargo bay and installed it on ELC2. That Materials ISS Experiment 7 exposes a variety of materials in two containers, much like open suitcases, to the harsh conditions of space for several months. Some of those materials could find application on future spacecraft and on Earth.
The two also removed some debris shields from outside the airlock and strapped them to an external stowage platform. Bresnik relocated a foot restraint.
Satcher released a bolt on an ammonia tank in preparation for a spacewalk during the STS-131 mission next year to replace the tank. It is part of the station’s cooling system. He approached the task equipped with a cheater bar to provide additional leverage. It was not needed. He stowed the bar on the outside of the station for possible future use.
Satcher installed insulated covers on cameras on the mobile servicing system and on Canadarm2’s end effector, the latching hand.
Meanwhile Bresnik installed a fluid jumper at the interface of the Port 1 and Port 3 truss segments, then did a similar task at Starboard 1/Starboard 3.
The spacewalk initially had been scheduled for 6.5 hours, including 45 minutes of contingency time. It began more than an hour later than planned because a drinking-water valve in Satcher’s suit became dislodged. The helmet had to be opened to reattach the valve, disrupting the spacewalk preparation process.
The next shuttle status report will be issued after crew wakeup, or earlier if events warrant.
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3 p.m. CST Monday, Nov. 23, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas