Friday, May 20, 2011

Spacewalkers wrapping up after suit sensor fails

The loss of a carbon dioxide sensor on astronaut Greg Chamitoff's spacesuit changed plans for the end of today's spacewalk.

Chamitoff is in no danger, but the lost sensor reduced the amount of time spacewalk managers on the ground will allow him to remain outside the International Space Station.

Chamitoff and partner Drew Feustel were about to remove a debris shield on the Destiny lab when they were told to hold off because the task, expected to take about 45 minutes, would exceed the revised estimate for how long Chamitoff's could continue working.

Managers said their estimates of spacesuit consumables were conservative, but required them to cut back the time.

That means some of the connectors to newly installed communications antennas can't be reached today, but the spacewalkers are cleaning up some related wiring and will set up a tool bag needed on the next spacewalk before returning inside.

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