Atlantis astronauts set for first spacewalk of the mission
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: November 19, 2009
Astronauts Michael Foreman and Robert Satcher are gearing up for a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk to install a spare S-band antenna assembly on the International Space Station, work on cable runs and connections and lubricate robotic snares used to grip payloads and equipment.
The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 9:18 a.m. EST when Foreman and Satcher, floating in the station's Quest airlock module, switch their spacesuits to battery power.
This will be the 134th spacewalk devoted to station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998, the 15th so far this year and the first of three planned by the Atlantis astronauts. Foreman will be making his fourth spacewalk while Satcher, an orthopedic surgeon with a doctorate in chemical engineering, will be making his first.
"That's going to be the highlight of the flight for me," Satcher said in a NASA interview. "Going out ... and seeing the vastness of the view of the Earth and the space station and the shuttle and then, of course, out beyond. That is going to be spectacular.
"So, I don't know that I can fully anticipate what that's going to be like. I hear people describe it and they all say that it has a significant impact on their perspective over all and it's a life-changing event. I've heard a lot people say that. There aren't too many things in my life that I've experienced like that, so I'm really looking forward to it and just taking it all in."
For identification, Foreman's suit features red stripes around the legs while Satcher's is unmarked. Leland Melvin and pilot Barry "Butch" Wilmore will operate the station's robot arm during the spacewalk while Randolph Bresnik will serve as the spacewalk coordinator.
The first item on the agenda is to install a spare S-band antenna assembly. With Satcher anchored to the end of the station's robot arm, Foreman will unbolt the antenna assembly from its mount on a sidewall in the shuttle's cargo bay and hand it to his crewmate. Satcher then will then carry it up to a storage point on the central Z1 truss that houses the station's four control moment gyroscopes.
"It's a really cool ride for Bobby, he's going to have a good time," said station Flight Director Brian Smith.
Both spacewalkers then will bolt the antenna into place.
"Our first task is to take another spare part out of the space shuttle's payload bay, the SASA payload, which is S-band Antenna Support Assembly, which is basically a spare S-band antenna for the space station," Foreman said in a NASA interview. "It's an antenna that failed on orbit. They brought it back, refurbished it, now it's ready to go and we'll put it back into the spare location.
"So I will go out of the airlock, go over to the payload bay and start getting that thing ready to hand off to Bobby. Bobby's going to go out, get into the robotic arm and they'll maneuver him over into the payload bay on the end of the arm. He'll grab that thing after I unbolt it and he'll ride the arm back to Z1 where it gets installed in the spare location and I'll translate back over there and help him install it."
At that point, the two spacewalkers will split up.
"After we get (the SASA) installed, I will also pick up a set of cables from our tool box in the back of the payload bay, take those over to the Z1 location also and start stringing those things up for a future mission to use while Bobby continues to ride the arm and he goes into his lube-job-man role as the lubricator of a couple of the latching end effectors, the POA latching end effector and the JEM RMS latching end effector."
The former is a payload attach fitting on the robot arm's mobile transporter while the latter is the latching end of a Japanese robot arm attached to the Kibo laboratory module. Both latching systems utilize snares that rotate closed to lock onto a payload's grapple fixture. Because of past issues with the snares, regular lubrication is a now standard operation.
"He'll go and apply some grease to the snares inside those latching end effectors to make sure that they don't have a problem later in life," Foreman said. "So he's doing some preventive maintenance basically on those while I do that spare cable task. And then I go over to Node 1 and there's a slide wire over there, a safety slide wire, that is no longer usable, so I'm going to take that off, bring that back in and we'll also have a handrail to swap out over there. I take one handrail off, install a different handrail that actually has some ammonia line cable connectors on it that will be used on a future mission."
The spacewalk is scheduled to end around 3:48 p.m. A mission status briefing is planned for 5:30 p.m.
Here is an updated timeline of today's activity (in EST and mission elapsed time; includes revision D of the NASA television schedule):
EST........DD...HH...MM...EVENT 11/19/09 04:28 AM...02...14...00...Crew wakeup 05:03 AM...02...14...35...EVA-1: 14.7 psi repress/hygiene break 05:48 AM...02...15...20...EVA-1: Airlock depress to 10.2 psi 05:58 AM...02...15...30...ISS daily planning conference 06:13 AM...02...15...45...EVA-1: Campout EVA preps 07:43 AM...02...17...15...EVA-1: Spacesuit purge 07:58 AM...02...17...30...EVA-1: Spacesuit prebreathe 08:48 AM...02...18...20...EVA-1: Crew lock depressurization 09:18 AM...02...18...50...EVA-1: Spacesuits to battery power 09:23 AM...02...18...55...EVA-1: Airlock egress/setup 09:43 AM...02...19...15...EVA-1: Spare S-band antenna install 12:33 PM...02...22...05...EVA-1/Satcher: POA snare lube 12:33 PM...02...22...05...EVA-1/Foreman: S-band cable install 01:23 PM...02...22...55...EVA-1/Foreman: Ammonia line bracket install 01:58 PM...02...23...30...EVA-1/Satcher: JEM RMS snare lube 02:03 PM...02...23...35...EVA-1/Foreman: Node 1/FGB MMOD shield 02:48 PM...03...20...00...EVA-1/Foreman: S0 1/4 cable 03:03 PM...03...35...00...EVA-1/Satcher: Cleanup and ingress 03:18 PM...03...50...00...EVA-1/Foreman: Cleanup and airlock ingress 03:48 PM...03...01...20...EVA-1: Airlock pressurization 04:03 PM...03...01...35...Spacesuit servicing 05:13 PM...03...02...45...ISS evening planning conference 05:30 PM...03...03...02...Mission status briefing on NTV 07:28 PM...03...05...00...ISS crew sleep begins 07:58 PM...03...05...30...STS crew sleep begins 08:00 PM...03...05...32...Daily highlights
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