Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Spacewalk 1 on Schedule; SARJ Work Begins

Today's spacewalk remains about 25 minutes ahead of schedule now four hours, 32 minutes into the first spacewalk of Endeavour's STS-126 mission.

Today's planned 6 1/2-hour walk in space is accomplishing many tasks which have built-up since the last shuttle flight to the space station in June. From the earlier removal of an empty nitrogen tank, to the current cleaning and lubing of the American Solar Alpha Rotary Joint or SARJ.

At 5:49 pm ET, lead spacewalker Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper stated she felt exhusted. Her partner, Steve Bowen, is making turns to secure a third bolt in an effort to secure a trundle bearing assembly. The SARJ has 12 bearing assemblies to clean and relube.

At 5:54 pm, Heidemarie began work to remove bearing assembly TDA 11. At 6:01 pm, the shuttle - space station complex moved into orbital sunrise. The pair then lowered their visors. This is always a plus when working with small equipment. At 6:03 pm, Heidemarie stated there was more debris on TDA 11 than had been on #12. The debris began drifting away, not sticking to any surface. The image above was taken at 6:04 pm ET.

The schedule for the flight Crews (all times EST):

12:25 am - Crew sleep period (all 10 astronauts)
08:55 am - Crews awake for flight day 6
11:10 am - Experiment racks in Leonardo moved to Destiny

At a MET + 3 days, 22 hrs, 10 minutes, this is spacelaunchnews.com.

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