Wednesday, March 02, 2011

2nd Spacewalk Under Way At Space Station

The second and final spacewalk of Discovery's mission to the International Space Station is under way.

Mission specialists Stephen Bowen and Alvin Drew switched their spacesuits to battery power at 10:42 a.m., marking the beginning of the planned 6.5-hour excursion. The astronauts are running about 25 minutes late as a result of trouble encountered with a lithium hydroxide bottle in Bowen's suit.

The spacewalk is the 155th to be performed in the assembly and maintenance of the space station, the first two building blocks of which were linked in low Earth orbit in late 1998. Astronauts and cosmonauts have spent 967 hours and 39 minutes spacewalking at the outpost. That's the equivalent of about 40 days.

Bowen and Drew are gathering up tools and making certain their braided steel safety tethers are properly securing them to the exterior of the station. Bowen will be setting up the station's robot arm so he can anchor himself to it during the excursion. Drew will be heading toward a failed coolant pump so he can vent residual ammonia overboard.

No comments: