Headlines > News > Astronauts Perform First STS-129 Spacewalk

Astronauts Perform First STS-129 Spacewalk

Published by Matt on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:40 pm via: source
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The first spacewalk of the STS-129 mission began at 9:24 a.m. EST Thursday and is scheduled to last 6.5 hours. Mission Specialists Mike Foreman and Robert Satcher installed a spare S-band antenna structural assembly brought up in Atlantis’ cargo bay.

Mission Specialist Robert Satcher works outside the International Space Station during the first spacewalk of the STS-129 mission. Credit: NASA TV

Mission Specialist Robert Satcher works outside the International Space Station during the first spacewalk of the STS-129 mission. Credit: NASA TV

Other tasks on the spacewalkers’ agenda include the installation of a set of cables for a future space-to-ground antenna on the Destiny laboratory and the replacement of a handrail on the Unity node with a bracket that will be used to route an ammonia cable required for the Tranquility node when it is delivered next year. Foreman and Satcher are also tasked with repositioning a cable connector on the Unity node, troubleshooting a cable connection and lubricating two latching end effectors – one on the Japanese robotic arm and one on the mobile base that allows the station’s main robotic arm to travel to different worksites.

Meanwhile, inside the station, further work is going on to prepare the station for the arrival of the Tranquility node. Station Commander Frank De Winne and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams are working at the port hatch of the Harmony node to rewire data, power and cooling lines and air flow connections that will be connected to Tranquility. Their task is also scheduled to take about 6.5 hours. De Winne and Williams will continue working on the project over several days during the STS-129 mission.

The STS-129 mission will focus on storing spare hardware on the exterior of the station. The 11-day flight will include three spacewalks and the installation of two platforms to the station’s truss, or backbone. The platforms will hold spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttles are retired. This equipment is large and can only be transported using the unique capability of the shuttle.

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