Wednesday, November 19, 2008

805p 11/18 Update: EVA-1 ends


Posted: 8:05 PM, 11/18/08

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Analyst

Changes and additions:

   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
   SR-35 (11/18/08): Spacewalk ends


8:05 PM, 11/18/08, Update: Spacewalk No. 1 ends

Astronauts Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Stephen Bowen wrapped up a six-hour 52-minute spacewalk today, installing a spare coolant system component on the international space station, moving a depleted nitrogen tank to the shuttle Endeavour for return to Earth and cleaning a damaged solar array rotary joint.

All of the primary goals of the spacewalk, the first of four planned for Endeavour's mission, were accomplished, but the excursion was marred somewhat by a grease gun malfunction that released lubricant inside a tool bag. While Stefanyshyn-Piper struggled to clean up the mess, the untethered bag, carrying two grease guns, a scraper tool and other gear, floated away. Stefanyshyn-Piper tried to grab it, but it was too late.

But sharing Bowen's tools, the spacewalkers still managed to clean and lubricate the starboard solar alpha rotary joint as required.

"You did a great job today, awesome EVA, welcome back," radioed Robert "Shane" Kimbrough from inside the shuttle as the spacewalk came to a close.

"Thanks," Stefanyshyn-Piper replied. "In spite of our little hiccup there, or major hiccup, I think we did a good job out there."

"You really did, got all the tasks done."

"You all were champs," mission control chimed in. "You rolled with the punches and made it all happen ahead of the timeline. It's much appreciated and we had a great time watching you."

Today's spacewalk began at 1:09 p.m. and ended at 8:01 p.m. This was the 115th EVA devoted to space station assembly and maintenance since construction began 10 years ago this week. Total EVA assembly time now stands at 725 hours and 40 minutes.


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