Spacewalkers connect power, cooling for module
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: November 20, 2007
Space station commander Peggy Whitson and Dan Tani began repressurizing the Quest airlock module at 12:26 p.m. today to officially close out a successful seven-hour 16-minute spacewalk. The astronauts connected one of two ammonia coolant loops between the station's main power truss and the new Harmony module, completed more than a dozen electrical connections and performed several "get-ahead" tasks before calling it a day.
Once back in the airlock, the spacewalkers went through a routine decontamination procedure to remove any possible ammonia from their spacesuits before re-entering the space station.
Whitson and Tani plan another spacewalk Saturday to connect the loop B coolant loop and to make additional power connections to ready Harmony for attachment of a European research module scheduled for launch Dec. 6 aboard the shuttle Atlantis.
While today's spacewalk was underway, the Atlantis astronauts strapped in for a dress-rehearsal countdown at the Kennedy Space Center, a traditional milestone on the road to launch. But the Atlantis crew will not receive final clearance to take off until the station astronauts complete their work to prepare Harmony for the arrival of the Columbus module.
"While we've got a break in comm here, it looks like we're at the end of a pretty successful EVA," Tani radioed. "I'd really like to express thanks to (our trainers), a first-class operation all the way and man, we couldn't have been this successful without all you guys. ... Thanks very much and everybody have a great Thanksgiving. It's been a pleasure working with all of you."
"Thanks very much," astronaut Tom Marshburn replied from mission control. "You have a lot of smiling faces down here. Thanks for the great work."
"You've got three of them up here, too," Tani said. "The plan was excellent and the preparation was fantastic. It's been three months or so since we've run this in the pool, it was a great refresher, everybody did a fantastic job working over the weekend and unfortunately for all of you guys who will be working over the holidays. But hopefully we'll get this thing activated."
"Yep, that will be good," Whitson agreed. "I'd like to reiterate thanks to all the folks who worked so much getting this plan together, the thermal guys also had to do a lot of work to figure out how to make all this happen in such a short period of time. We appreciate everyone's help, but especially our EVA team has been phenomenal."
Added Tani: "I'd better thank my wife for keeping the home front stable so I can concentrate on work up here. She's fantastic and I love her very much. So thanks, Jane."