Monday, November 24, 2008

125p 11/24 Update: Spacewalk begins

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CBS NEWS STS-126 STATUS REPORT: 63
Posted: 1:25 PM, 11/24/08

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Analyst


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Changes and additions:


   SR-60 (11/23/08): Urine processor shuts down again; troubleshooting continues
   SR-61 (11/24/08): Astronauts gear up for final spacewalk; urine processor troubleshooting continues
   SR-62 (11/24/08): Shuttle mission extended one day
   SR-63 (11/24/08): Spacewalk begins

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1:25 PM, 11/24/08, Update: Spacewalk begins

Astronauts Stephen Bowen and Robert "Shane" Kimbrough switched their spacesuits to internal battery power at 1:24 p.m., about 20 minutes ahead of schedule, to officially kick off a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk, the fourth and final EVA planned for the shuttle Endeavour's crew.

This is the 118th EVA devoted to station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998 and the 19th this year. Going into today's excursion, the shuttle crew had logged 20 hours and 34 minutes of spacewalk time, pushing the station's total to 739 hours and 23 minutes.

For identification, Kimbrough's spacesuit features broken red stripes on the legs. His radio call sign is EV-3 and views from his helmet camera will have the number 16 in the lower right corner. Bowen's suit is unmarked, his call sign is EV-2 and his helmet cam is No. 18.

After attaching safety tethers, Bowen and Kimbrough will make their way to the station's left-side solar alpha rotary joint, or SARJ, to remove thermal covers around the mechanism's 10-foot-wide drive gear. While Kimbrough works to lubricate the gear's bearing races, Bowen will be working on the opposite side of the solar power truss to install a final bearing assembly in the damaged right-side SARJ and to finish cleaning and lubricating the joint.

See the 9:10 a.m. update for a detailed overview of today's spacewalk.

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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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