The first of three spacewalks originating from the international space station in support of it's on going construction took a new turn this evening with the installation and cable hook ups of the fourth and final solar arrays for the outpost in space.
Today's spacewalk lasted six hours and seven minutes - concluding at 7:23 pm EDT.
The main goal of astronauts Steve Swanson and Ricky Arnold's walk in space today was to help guide the Starboard 6 solar array truss segment to a docking with the S5 adapter on the station's right side. They then drilled bolts to safely attach the two.
Later, after attaching power and data cables from S6 to the station, they began work to unfurl a photovoltaic radiator on the S6 which will keep the system cool; they also opened the solar array blanket boxes which will allow the solar arrays to deploy. Everything went very well, stated Mission Control this evening.
It was Swanson's third space walk - he now has amassed 19 hrs. & 52 mins. of spacewalking - and it was Arnold's first. Total space station construction spacewalk time since late-1998 is now 762 hours and three minutes, during 121 spacewalks by both astronauts and cosmonauts.
On Friday morning beginning at 10:58 am EDT, the crews aboard the space station will begin to unfurel the two sets of solar arrays on either side of the Starboard 6 truss segement. See our labeled NASA graphic of the space station construction in an exploded view below.
On Saturday, the STS-119 mission's second spacewalk will occur.