Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shuttle Crew Gears Up For First Spacewalk At Station

The Endeavour astronauts are gearing up for the first of three spacewalks planned during their stay at the International Space Station, an excursion aimed at delivering the last American section of the outpost.

Mission specialists Bob Behnken and Nicholas Patrick will spend a total of 19.5 hours outside the station during those three spacewalks, the last two of which will begin on Saturday and next Tuesday.

Lead spacewalker Behnken will be wearing a space suit with solid white stripes when he and Patrick exit the station's U.S. Quest airlock around 9:09 p.m. tonight. Patrick, who will be making his first spacewalk, will wear an all-white suit.

Mission specialist Steve Robinson will direct the spacewalking work from inside the joined shuttle-station complex.

The crew got a rousing wake-up call at 4:14 p.m. as Mission Control beamed up "Beautiful Day" by U2 for Endeavour mission specialist Kay Hire by her sister, Becky.

"Good morning, Houston," Hire said. "We're having a beautiful day up here."

"It is going to be a beautiful day in space," fellow astronaut Shannon Lucid replied from Mission Control.

You can watch the spacewalk live here in The Flame Trench. Click the NASA TV box on the right side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer and round-the-clock coverage of NASA's 130th shuttle mission. Refresh this page, too, for periodic updates.

Here's a look at the crew's day in space:
++8:04 p.m.: Shuttle-to-station supply-and-equipment transfers resume.

++8:29 p.m.: Mission specialists Kay Hire and Terry Virts grapple Tranquility with the station’s robot arm.

++9:09 p.m.: Mission specialists Bob Behnken and Nicholas Patrick begin spacewalk.

++9:49 p.m.: Behnken and Patrick prep Tranquility for lift out of shuttle cargo bay.

++10:49 p.m.: Hire and Virts hoist Tranquility module.

++12:44 a.m. Friday: Hire and Virts install Tranquility on port side of U.S. Unity module.

++1:34 a.m. Friday: Spacewalkers connect power cables between Tranquility and the station.

++3:34 a.m. Friday: Tranquility leak checks.

++3:39 a.m. Friday: Spacewalk No. 1 ends.

++8:14 a.m. Friday: Shuttle crew sleeps.

The timeline for though landing is here in this latest revision -- Rev D -- of the STS-130 NASA TV Schedule.

ABOUT THE IMAGE: Click to enlarge the NASA TV screen grab, which shows Endeavour docked at a berthing port on the U.S. Harmony module. The European Columbus laboratory is in the foreground.

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