Friday, May 27, 2011

Spacewalking Work Deemed "A Piece Of Pie"

Endeavour astronauts Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff are tackling chores outside the International Space Station today, equipping the outpost's new extension boom with a grapple fixture that will enable it to operate on the end of the station's robot arm.

The two astronauts are removing the boom's existing grapple fixture -- one that enabled it to operate as an inspection boom on shuttle Endeavour. A different type of fixture is required for it to operate with the station's Canadian-built "Big Arm."

Together, the station's arm and its extension would stretch over 100 feet, significantly expanding its reach.

Fincke and Chamitoff are running about 30 minutes behind schedule, but they remain rather cheery. Fincke said the job at hand is "a piece of pie." A crewmate countered: "Slice of cake."

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