Tuesday, November 18, 2008

120p 11/18 Update: Spacewalk begins

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CBS NEWS STS-126 STATUS REPORT: 31
Posted: 01:20 PM, 11/18/08

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Analyst

Changes and additions:

   SR-28 (11/18/08): Astronauts prepare for spacewalk; water rack installation
   SR-29 (11/18/08): Clarification of EVA duties
   SR-30 (11/18/05): CORRECTION of EVA duties
   SR-31 (11/18/08): Spacewalk begins

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01:20 PM, 11/18/08, Update: Spacewalk begins

Running 36 minutes ahead of schedule, astronauts Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Stephen Bowen, floating in the international space station's Quest airlock module, switched their spacesuits to battery power at 1:09 p.m., officially beginning a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk.

The goals of the excursion are to move a depleted nitrogen tank from the station to the shuttle Endeavour's cargo bay for return to Earth; to move a spare coolant system component from the shuttle to the station; and to begin servicing a damaged solar array rotary joint.

This is the 115th spacewalk in the 10 years since station assembly began, the sixteenth so far this year, the first of four for Endeavour's crew, the third overall for Stefanyshyn-Piper and the first for Bowen. Going into today's excursion, more than 80 astronauts and cosmonauts representing the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and Sweden had logged 718 hours and 48 minutes of spacewalk asssembly time.

It will take Stefanyshyn-Piper and Bowen about two hours to move the depleted nitrogen tank assembly, or NTA, to the shuttle and to mount the coolant system flexible hose rotary coupler on the station.

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Quick-Launch Web Links:

CBS News STS-126 Status Reports:
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/current.html

CBS News STS-126 Quick-Look Page:
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/currentglance.html

NASA ISS Expeditions Page:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/index.html

NASA Shuttle Web: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/index.html
NASA Station Web: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/index.html
Spaceflight Now: http://spaceflightnow.com/index.html
GoogleSatTrack: http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/tracking/

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