Wednesday, May 25, 2011

American Spacewalkers Head Into Home Stretch

Spacewalkers Drew Feustel and Mike Fincke are finished rigging up power cables outside the International Space Station and tests done on Earth show the electrical lines are working as intended.

"Great news," said Feustel.

"Definitely great news," added Fincke.

The two spacewalkers strung four power cables between the U.S. Unity and Russian Zarya modules. Two were hooked up to the port side of the Russian space tug; the other two were connected to the starboard side. But not without a bit of a struggle.

Feustel and Fincke had a little trouble routing the electrical lines between a "rat's nest" of other cabling on the exterior of the Zarya module.

"You guys are doing great. This is a tough task here," said Endeavour mission specialist Greg Chamitoff, who was directing the work from inside the station.

"Yee-Ha!" Fincke said after successfully connecting the first of the starboard cables.

"Impossible connector connected," Feustel added after the other was hooked up.

The astronauts now are tackling a couple of other tasks. Feustel is using an infrared camera to take video of an Air Force research experiment while Fincke installs multilayer insulation on a high-pressure gas tank.

The two then will turn their attention to cleaning work sites, gathering up tools and preparing to head back inside the Quest airlock.

Feustel and Fincke are still about 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

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