Sunday, April 11, 2010

Discovery Spacewalkers Struggle To Bolt New Tank In Place

Two astronauts are bolting a new ammonia tank to the outside of the International Space Station as the second of three spacewalks planned during Discovery's stay at the outpost continues to unfold.

Shuttle mission specialists Clay Anderson and Rick Mastracchio are driving four bolts that will hold the tank in place on the starboard side of the station's central truss. Specifically, the S-1 truss segment. Then the two will hook up electrical and coolant lines, finishing up the orbital installation.

The new tank is replacing a spent one that was launched to the outpost in October 2002. It will be returned to Earth on Discovery and then refilled before being launched back to the outpost as a spare this summer.

The four bolts are giving the astronauts a bit of trouble.

"Aw, it's like frozen. We need the sun to come out," Anderson said as he tried to drive one in with a pistol-grip power tool. "Boy, that's a bummer."

The astronauts are about four hours into a 6.5-hour spacewalk.

No comments: