Sunday, September 06, 2009

A Saturday Night Orbital Spacewalk Concludes

A Saturday evening stroll outside earth's orbiting outpost in space concluded following the successful completion of several tasks designed to prepare the space station for a future module and the replacement of a failed gyroscope.

The third and final spacewalk of the space shuttle Discovery's servicing mission to the international space station ended at 11:40 pm EDT, as astronauts Danny Olivas and Christer Fuglesang switched their spacesuits back to external power after entering the Quest airlock.

Last evening's seven hour, one minute spacewalk wrapped up three productive days of work outside the station. Combined, all three spacewalks of Discovery's docked operations total 20 hours and 15 minutes. To date, there have now been 830 hours and 50 minutes of spacewalking time devoted since 1998 to space station construction and maintenance.

On what had been a very quiet and productive spacewalk, European astronaut Fuglesang's helmet camera came loose near the end of the orbital walk. The loose camera caused some initial concern in Mission Control and prompted them to radio, "We thought you were doing acrobatics."

Olivas transitioned over to his helmet cam and quickly unplugged it and gave it to Fuglesang to carry back to the airlock so that it accidentally did not break off and float away.

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