Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spacewalk Preps Continue As New Imagery Flows

The Endeavour astronauts are gearing up for the first of three spacewalks planned during the shuttle's stay at the International Space Station, and the job is calling for a bit of a suit switch.

Endeavour commander George Zamka and mission specialist Nicholas Patrick, with an assist from station flight engineer Soichi Noguchi, have been swapping out the upper torso of astronaut Bob Behnken's spacesuit with a spare because his original did not properly route electrical power to its helmet or gloves.

The swap-out is not expected to delay the start of a spacewalk scheduled to get under way at 9:09 p.m. tonight. NASA Shuttle Lead Flight Director Kwatsi Alibaruho had built in a half day off for the Endeavour astronauts to prep for the series of demanding spacewalks, and that decision turned out to be a prescient call.

We've got a new series of great images of the Endeavour backflip prior to its final approach to the station late Tuesday. These are NASA TV screen grabs of high-resolution imagery taken from the station by outpost commander Jeffrey Williams and flight engineer Oleg Kotov.

You can click each image to enlarge them.

Click READ MORE to look at seven more previously unpublished shots:

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