Wednesday, November 19, 2008

620p 11/18 Update: Astros make up lost time; SARJ cleaning appears to go smoothly

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CBS NEWS STS-126 STATUS REPORT: 34
Posted: 6:20 PM, 11/18/08

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Analyst

Changes and additions:

   SR-30 (11/18/05): CORRECTION of EVA duties
   SR-31 (11/18/08): Spacewalk begins
   SR-32 (11/18/08): Depleted nitrogen tank moved to shuttle; coolant system component mounted on space station; SARJ cleaning work begins
   SR-33 (11/18/08): Stefanyshyn-Piper loses tool bag; grease contamination; SARJ work begins
   SR-34 (11/18/08): Spacewalkers make progress cleaning, lubricating starboard SARJ

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6:20 PM, 11/18/08, Update: Spacewalkers make progress cleaning, lubricating starboard SARJ

Despite losing a tool bag overboard while struggling to clean up a grease gun eruption, astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and fellow spacewalker Stephen Bowen made good progress cleaning and lubricating a damaged solar array rotary joint on the international space station.

Five hours into a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalker, the astronauts, sharing Bowen's tools, have made up lost time and presumably will complete the work originally planned for today's excursion, if not more.

Flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center, meanwhile, are assessing the impact of the lost tools, which included two grease guns, a scraper tool, a debris bag and a large trash bag.

The grease guns are being used to lay down beads of lubrication on the 10-foot-wide drive gear of the station's starboard alpha rotary joint after the bearing races have been cleaned. Bowen and Stefanyshyn-Piper, working on opposite sides of the drive gear, have had no major problems removing trundle bearings, cleaning and lubricating the bearing races.

The astronauts are running ahead of schedule despite the earlier problems.

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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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