Monday, November 23, 2009

Final Atlantis spacewalk is under way

Running about an hour behind, Atlantis mission specialists Randy Bresnik and Bobby Satcher switched their spacesuits to battery power at 8:24 a.m. EST to officially begin the third and last spacewalk planned during the 11-day shuttle mission.

The spacewalkers will exit the International Space Station's Quest airlock shortly.

Bresnik is wearing a suit with broken red stripes on the legs and will show No. 16 in the lower right corner of his helmet camera.

Satcher's suit is all white, and his helmet camera will show No. 18.

Click here to open a NASA TV video player and watch the spacewalk live.

Due to the late start, spacewalk planners expect to drop a 45-minute cushion at the end of the timeline. They expect the day's work to take five hours, 45 minutes.

Their first tasks: installing a doghouse-shaped high-pressure oxygen tank on the Quest airlock and setting up a set of experiments now bolted to the side of Atlantis' payload bay.

Both men are making their second spacewalk during their first spaceflight.

Each was paired with veteran spacewalker Mike Foreman during the mission's first two excursions, on Thursday and Saturday.

So far, Satcher's spacewalking time totals six hours and 37 minutes -- 29 minutes more than Bresnik.

This is the 230th spacewalk by U.S. astronauts, the 136th supporting space station assembly and construction, which began in 1998.

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