Headlines > News > Spacewalk Ends Early Due To Damaged Spacesuit; Major Tasks Completed

Spacewalk Ends Early Due To Damaged Spacesuit; Major Tasks Completed

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:58 pm
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Image above: Highlighted in this picture is an abrasion of Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio’s glove during STS-118’s third spacewalk. Image: NASA TV

(NASA) – Flight controllers decided just before 3 p.m. EDT to end today’s spacewalk early because of damage to the outer layer of one of Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio’s gloves. Even though there was no threat to his safety, the decision was made as a precaution.

Up to that point, Mastracchio and Flight Engineer Clay Anderson were about an hour ahead of schedule and had completed the major tasks of the spacewalk. Mastracchio ended his portion of the spacewalk about 3 p.m. and Anderson wrapped up at 4:05 p.m.

Anderson finished with the retrieval of a transponder on the Port 6 truss after Mastracchio returned to the Quest airlock.

The damage was discovered during a routine scan of the gloves with Mastracchio’s helmet cam. Both gloves had damage, however, it was a small penetration in the outer layer of the left thumb that caused flight controllers to make the decision to end today’s spacewalk early.

Retrieval of the two MISSE experiments will be deferred to a future spacewalk. The experiments were deployed in August 2006 and will be returned to Earth for analysis.

Mastracchio and Anderson continued preparations for the relocation of the Port 6 (P6) truss and its solar arrays by moving two Crew Equipment Translation Aid carts along the Integrated Truss Structure rail system. This will allow the station’s arm to perform the P6 relocation work during STS-120. The P6 will be moved from atop the station to the end of the Port 5 truss.

Early in the spacewalk, the duo relocated an antenna from the Port 6 (P6) to the Port 1 (P1) truss. In addition to the antenna relocation, the spacewalkers installed a new transponder and signal processor in an S-band communications system upgrade.

Today’s spacewalk was Mastracchio’s third of the mission. Anderson, who arrived at the station in June, conducted his first spacewalk on July 23 with Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin.

Mission Specialist Tracy Caldwell coordinated the spacewalk, and Pilot Charles Hobaugh was at the controls of the station’s robotic arm.

STS-118’s fourth spacewalk is slated to take place Friday.

Mission Management Team Update

Mission managers have determined that damage to a small section of Endeavour’s heat shield poses no threat to crew safety or mission operations. However, they are discussing options for possible repair work that would ensure preparations on the ground for Endeavour’s next flight will go more smoothly. The damage occurred during the climb to orbit on Aug. 8.

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