Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Working in a Vacuum

Discovery spacewalker Danny Olivas at work during the STS-128 mission's first spacewalk. During the six-hour, 35-minute spacewalk, Olivas and astronaut Nicole Stott, removed an empty ammonia tank from the station's truss and temporarily stowed it on the station's robotic arm.

Olivas and Stott also retrieved the European Technology Exposure Facility and Materials International Space Station Experiment from the Columbus laboratory module and installed them on Discovery’s payload bay for ret

The 13 members of the combined space shuttle and International Space Station crew will install new science equipment and racks in the station today, enhancing the research capabilities for the orbiting laboratory.

The Fluids Integrated Rack, Materials Science Research Rack-1 and Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS will be installed in the U.S. Destiny laboratory. Shuttle Commander Rick Sturckow, Pilot Kevin Ford and mission specialists Pat Forrester, Jose Hernandez and Christer Fuglesang as well as Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Frank De Winne will all play a part in the transfer and installation of the new hardware.

The crews also will work on installation and outfitting of the new crew quarters compartment as well as the ongoing transfer of food and supplies from the Leonardo module.

Hernandez talked with CNN Espanol, Televisa Mexico and KCRA-TV this afternoon. At 9:55 p.m. EDT, he and Mission Specialist Danny Olivas will respond to public questions submitted via Twitter and YouTube.

Olivas and Fuglesang also will work on preparations for their spacewalk tomorrow. They will get their spacesuits in place in the Quest airlock, gather tools and join the U.S. crew members to review the spacewalk plan. The two spacewalkers will spend the night in the airlock for their pre-breathe procedure.