Friday, 20 May 2011

Endeavour Mission STS-134 First Spacewalk

STS-134 Crew: NASA astronauts Mark Kelly (bottom center), commander; Gregory H. Johnson, pilot; Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency’s Roberto Vittori, all mission specialists. Image credit: NASA 

Mission Specialists Drew Feustel and Greg Chamitoff have completed the first of four spacewalks of their mission. The spacewalk began at 3:10 am EDT (8.10am GMT) when Drew and Greg switched their suits to battery power, signifying the start of today's work.

Feustel and Chamitoff had a busy time as they retrieved two long term experiments and installed a new package of experiments on ELC-2, which is already on the International Space Station. They also installed jumpers between segments on the left-side truss, or backbone of the station, for ammonia refills and fitted an external wireless communication antenna on the Destiny laboratory that will provide wireless communication to the Express Logistics Carriers.

A carbon dioxide sensor failure in Chamitoff’s spacesuit meant that flight controllers limited his spacewalk time to 6 hours and 20 minutes - 10 minutes less than the planned time - bit still a long time in a space suit!

NASA scientists are analysing images taken from the International Space Station of Endeavour’s thermal protection system during the backflip maneuver while the shuttle approached the ISS. A decision on whether the inspection is required or not is expected later today.

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