Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Space First? Helmet Lights Pop Off Spacesuit

Well here's a space first. I think.

The helmet lights on the spacesuit of Discovery mission specialist Alvin Drew popped off while he was working outside the International Space Station today, and his partner Stephen Bowen was unable to reattach them.

The helmet lights remained tethered to Drew's suit by an electrical cable, and Bowen tried to fix the situation.

No joy.

"I'm sorry, Al," Bowen said before tying the lights down on Drew's suit.

Drew then was sent back to the U.S. Quest airlock, and Mission Control said they were ready to "call it a day."

The spacewalk is the 155th performed in the assembly and maintenance of the station, the foundation of which was laid in late 1998. Spacewalkers now have spent more than 970 hours of spacewalking assembly and maintenance work at the outpost, and I for one cannot recall a similar experience.

Bowen is finishing up one last task outside the spawling complex, which now spans an area larger than an American football field. Then he, too, will head back to the Quest airlock, ending the second and final planned spacewalk of Discovery's mission to the station.

Nonetheless, mission accomplished. The astronauts completed all planned work for the second and final spacewalk planned for Discovery's 39th and final flight.

About The Images: Click to enlarge the NASA TV screen grabs.

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