Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crews Prepare for Spacewalk, Perform Repairs and Transfer Equipment

Space shuttle Endeavour with the Tranquility node and cupola inside its payload bay is seen from the International Space Station prior to docking.

Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken began their overnight campout in the International Space Station’s Quest airlock a little before 8 a.m. EST in preparation for the first of three spacewalks during space shuttle Endeavour’s visit to the orbiting laboratory. They are sleeping in the reduced 10.2 psi pressure of the airlock to avoid decompression sickness, or the bends.

The day's tasks included installation of the Water Recovery System’s refurbished Distillation Assembly and replacement of the system’s Fluids Control Pump Assembly by station Commander Jeff Williams. The system processes urine into drinking water. Shuttle Commander George Zamka and Mission Specialists Kathryn Hire and Stephen Robinson worked to transfer equipment and supplies.

The crews wrapped up their workday with an hour-long review of spacewalk procedures beginning about 4:10 a.m. Williams and Flight Engineers Soichi Noguchi and T.J. Creamer also participated.