Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crews Relocate Pressurized Mating Adapter 3

The International Space Station and space shuttle Endeavour crews are continuing with robotics and hardware relocation activities while preparing for the third and final spacewalk of the STS-130 mission.

Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken, together with Expedition 22 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi, maneuvered the Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 from its location on the Harmony module to the open port on the end of Tranquility at 9:28 p.m. EST Tuesday.

Patrick and Behnken reviewed plans for the third and final planned spacewalk with Mission Specialist Stephen Robinson, the intravehicular officer, along with Endeavour Commander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts and station Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer.

The spacewalkers will hook up heater and data cables between the relocated adapter and Tranquility during a spacewalk scheduled to begin at 9:09 p.m. Patrick and Behnken will open the second of two ammonia loops to allow its coolant to flow through Tranquility and disconnect temporary power cables. They’ll remove insulation from the cupola’s seven windows and then release bolts that held the covers in place during launch, enabling astronauts to open the shutters from inside.

The newly installed Advanced Resistive Exercise Device got an early test run in Tranquility by Williams, and all seemed to go well. Experts on the ground continued to analyze results.

The STS-130 mission includes three spacewalks and the delivery of a connecting module that will increase the station’s interior space. Node 3, known as Tranquility, will provide additional room for crew members and many of the station's life support and environmental control systems. Attached to the node is a cupola, which is a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and another in the center that will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecraft. After the node and cupola are added, the space station will be about 90 percent complete.