Tuesday, September 01, 2009

First Spacewalk of Discovery's Mission Begins

The first of three planned spacewalks to perform housekeeping related chores outside the international space station began this evening as two astronauts left the Quest airlock for six hours.

Space shuttle Discovery astronaut Danny Olivas and newly arrived station flight engineer Nicole Stott switched their spacesuits to internal power thus beginning the spacewalk at 5:49 pm EDT today.

The primary goal on tonight's (EDT) spacewalk will be the removal of the ammonia tank (above, at 9:50 pm) on the station's port truss segment.

Ninety minutes into the spacewalk, what looked like a tear on Olivas' right glove caused concern for both the astronaut and Discovery's commander Rick Sturckow on the flight deck. The frayed right index finger of the glove was quickly cleared as ground controlers deemed it an uneven stitch.

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