Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Spacewalk concludes; Equipment Transfers Continue

As two astronauts took an orbital stroll in space on Monday evening, the crews of the space shuttle Discovery and the international space station moved cargo and supplies from the recently docked Leonardo module.

Space shuttle Discovery astronaut Danny Olivas and newly arrived space station flight engineer Nicole Stott began a six hour & 35 minute spacewalk at 5:49 pm EDT, on Tuesday. It was Stott's first spacewalk and mission control recently reported that she performed well.

The orbital duo removed an 1800 pound ammonia tank from the station's port truss segment. Nearly empty, the largest mass ever moved by spacewalking astronauts went nicely as the pair transfered it over to Discovery's payload bay for a return trip home.

The large white box tank's removal now sets the stage for Tgursday evening's spacewalk as Olivas and European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang install a replacement ammonia tank carried up by Discovery.

Meanwhile, as the spacewalk continued, astronauts inside the station worked to remove and stow equipment from the newly arrived Leonardo cargo module. The COLBERT treadmill went into storage; as did several racks, and a sleep station as the crew awaits the arrival of the Tranquility module this February.

This morning at 3:50a EDT, Discovery began her 5,000 orbit of the earth in her 25 years of space flight. She has also traveled over 126,300,000 miles around the globe.

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