BY JUSTIN RAY
Follow space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission to the International Space Station. Reload this page for the latest updates.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2009After removing a 1,300-pound ammonia coolant tank, astronauts John "Danny" Olivas and Nicole Stott waited out a storm-triggered communications blackout before closing out a successful six-hour 35-minute spacewalk by retrieving U.S. and European experiment packages mounted on the International Space Station.
0445 GMT (12:45 a.m. EDT)
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0425 GMT (12:25 a.m. EDT)EVA ENDS. Repressurization of the Quest airlock module began at 12:24 a.m. EDT, marking the official end of today's spacewalk by Danny Olivas and Nicole Stott. The EVA lasted six hours and 35 minutes. It was the first of three spacewalks planned for Discovery's mission to the space station.
0419 GMT (12:19 a.m. EDT)The outer hatch has been closed and locked.
0410 GMT (12:10 a.m. EDT)The spacewalking duo has finished tool inventories and climbed into the airlock. They'll soon close the hatch to complete this successful first EVA of Discovery's STS-128 flight.
0400 GMT (12:00 a.m. EDT)Stott is back inside the airlock now. Olivas has taken a camera to go shoot some pictures of the micrometeoroid or space debris hits. The get-ahead tasks that were talked about were skipped in the end.
0354 GMT (11:54 p.m. EDT Tues.)The spacewalkers are back at the airlock. Olivas reported finding an extensive amount of debris impacts outside the station's airlock and a toolbox.
0332 GMT (11:32 p.m. EDT Tues.)Having successfully completed all of the planned tasks for this spacewalk with some extra time to spare, the crew is going to tackle a few get-ahead tasks before returning to the airlock. Stott will install some protective lens covers around video cameras on the space station robot arm to shield them from rocket exhaust during the upcoming Japanese HTV cargo ship arrival. Olivas will work on a heater cable at the Pressurized Mating Adapter No. 3 docking port.
0323 GMT (11:23 p.m. EDT Tues.)The two MISSE packages have been closed up, removed from the space station's Columbus module and moved down to the space shuttle payload bay where they will travel back to Earth.
MISSE stands for the Materials International Space Station Experiment. These packages have exposed various materials and coatings to the environment of low-Earth orbit since being deployed during the STS-123 mission in March 2008.
Scientists are looking at the effects of atomic oxygen, direct sunlight, radiation and temperature extremes on the test materials. The cases will be returned to the ground for analysis.
0308 GMT (11:08 p.m. EDT Tues.)Olivas has used a small hammer and gotten the second MISSE package freed.
0300 GMT (11:00 p.m. EDT Tues.)The second MISSE package is proving to be troublesome. Danny Olivas is having problems getting the latching pins removed to disconnect the payload from Columbus. Spacewalkers who installed the package last year had difficulty getting the pins installed.
0256 GMT (10:56 p.m. EDT Tues.)The first MISSE package has been taken off Columbus and carried down to the shuttle by Nicole Stott.
0242 GMT (10:42 p.m. EDT Tues.)Mission Control says the spacewalkers are running on the timeline.
0235 GMT (10:35 p.m. EDT Tues.)Olivas is back up at Columbus to start removal of the two U.S. exposure experiment packages.
0215 GMT (10:15 p.m. EDT Tues.)Finally success with that bolt. The European Technology Exposure Facility, or EuTEF, has been secured on the bridge-like structure in the space shuttle Discovery payload bay for the trip back to Earth, completing the second major objective of this EVA.
0206 GMT (10:06 p.m. EDT Tues.)The spacewalkers are having difficulty getting EuTEF bolted to the payload bay. The single bolt needs 11 turns but is going only two turns.
0149 GMT (9:49 p.m. EDT Tues.)Four hours and counting in today's spacewalk. The astronauts have arrived in the shuttle bay for packing away of the EuTEF.
0135 GMT (9:35 p.m. EDT Tues.)Mission Control has updated the information about tonight's communications outage. The bad weather that caused the problem was in Guam, an intermediate ground station between the TDRS-275 satellite and the control station in New Mexico, NASA now says.
0127 GMT (9:27 p.m. EDT Tues.)Danny Olivas has climbing down to the shuttle to meet up with the station arm and Stott for stowing EuTEF. The package will be attached to the cargo carrier in the rear of Discovery's payload bay that also holds the new ammonia tank that will be transferred to the space station later this week.
0120 GMT (9:20 p.m. EDT Tues.)The European Technology Exposure Facility, or EuTEF, housed nine different experiments, including atomic oxygen, radiation, thermal and plasma discharge monitors, an Earth-observation camera, plus micrometeoroid and material degradation tests. The package had been outside the station since Columbus was launched in February 2008.
0115 GMT (9:15 p.m. EDT Tues.)Nicole Stott, positioned in a foot platform on the space station robot arm, has EuTEF in her hands. She'll hold the payload while being maneuvered to the shuttle.
0110 GMT (9:10 p.m. EDT Tues.)The spacewalkers are working to unbolt the European Technology Exposure Facility, or EuTEF, from a the bracket on the outer end of Columbus. Olivas will remove the payload and hand the package to Stott for carrying down to the shuttle.
0057 GMT (8:57 p.m. EDT Tues.)The astronauts and Houston are back in contact again. A severe storm prompted the data relay satellite ground station in New Mexico to take precautions and secure its antennas, interrupting communications between space and Mission Control for a half-hour.
0040 GMT (8:40 p.m. EDT Tues.)In addition to the European space environment package being retrieved tonight, the crew will fold up a pair of U.S. materials exposure cases. The spacewalkers will be using this time to photo-document the payloads before they are disconnected.
0024 GMT (8:24 p.m. EDT Tues.)Mission Control advices the crew that there will be a 30-minute loss of communications period in the orbital Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. The astronauts will be on their own during that time. Bad weather at the TDRSS station in New Mexico is to blame.
0014 GMT (8:14 p.m. EDT Tues.)After stowing of equipment and prepping for the upcoming experiment retrieval, the spacewalkers are making their way to the Columbus lab module now.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2009Passing the two-hour mark into the EVA. Mission Control says the astronauts are running on the timeline down to the minute.
2349 GMT (7:49 p.m. EDT)
2340 GMT (7:40 p.m. EDT)The next event in today's EVA will be removal of the European exposed science payload from the Columbus laboratory for stowage in Discovery's payload bay to ride back to Earth.
2335 GMT (7:35 p.m. EDT)Mission Control says the pictures show the glove is in good shape and the spacewalk can continue.
2331 GMT (7:31 p.m. EDT)The ground team is looking at pre-launch photos to compare with the current status of Danny Olivas' right glove. He says there might be a small fray.
2323 GMT (7:23 p.m. EDT)Spacewalker Danny Olivas is reporting the condition on his right index finger. He isn't sure if it is a cut or a frayed stitch.
2314 GMT (7:14 p.m. EDT)The depleted ammonia tank has been anchored onto the space station's robotic arm where it will remain until the next spacewalk when the new tank is brought up from the space shuttle's payload bay for installation.
This old tank was part of the P1 truss that launched to the space station in November 2002. A fresh supply of ammonia in the replacement tank will be used to cool station electronics and equipment in the future as needed.
2310 GMT (7:10 p.m. EDT)The Ammonia Tank Assembly has been bolted and freed from the Port 1 truss of the International Space Station. The 1,295-pound tank is in the hands of the two spacewalkers for moving within reach of the station's robot arm.
2248 GMT (6:48 p.m. EDT)All of the quick-disconnections have been released and there's been no traces of leaking ammonia.
2227 GMT (6:27 p.m. EDT)Olivas has gotten a pressurization line and an ammonia transfer umbilical removed so far.
2221 GMT (6:21 p.m. EDT)Already at work on the spent ammonia tank, spacewalkers Danny Olivas has started disconnecting the umbilicals for the structure's upcoming removal. Nicole Stott is getting her space legs and adjusting to spacewalking in the opening minutes of the EVA.
In all, the astronauts will unhook two ammonia transfer lines, two nitrogen pressurization lines, a pair of electrical connections and release four bolts.
2205 GMT (6:05 p.m. EDT)Both spacewalkers have emerged from the airlock. This is the third EVA for Olivas and the first for Stott.
2150 GMT (5:50 p.m. EDT)EVA BEGINS. The spacewalkers switched their suits to internal battery power at 5:49 p.m. EDT, marking the official start time for today's EVA by Danny Olivas and Nicole Stott. This is the first of three spacewalks planned during Discovery's mission at the International Space Station.
2149 GMT (5:49 p.m. EDT)The depressurization has been completed and the Quest airlock's outer hatch leading to space is being opened.
2134 GMT (5:34 p.m. EDT)The new sleep compartment for station residents has made its way out of Leonardo and into the Japanese Kibo laboratory.
2130 GMT (5:30 p.m. EDT)Depressurization is pausing at 5.0 psi for a planned leak check.
2125 GMT (5:25 p.m. EDT)Airlock depressurization is progressing.
2114 GMT (5:14 p.m. EDT)The internal hatch on the airlock has been closed.
2110 GMT (5:10 p.m. EDT)Dressed in their spacewalking suits and ready to head outside today, Danny Olivas and Nicole Stott have moved into the section of the airlock that will be depressurized shortly.
2059 GMT (4:59 p.m. EDT)The space station's new treadmill -- the COLBERT, named for comedian Stephen Colbert -- has been transferred out of the Leonardo delivery module and into the Harmony connecting node. In the coming weeks, the station crew will assemble the treadmill.
2043 GMT (4:43 p.m. EDT)Final steps in the suitup process are being completed in the Quest module now. The spacewalkers are being outfitted with the SAFER backpacks that would enable an untethered astronaut to fly back to the station.
2014 GMT (4:14 p.m. EDT)The latest projections show the depressurization of the airlock should be ready to start just after 5 p.m. EDT.
1952 GMT (3:52 p.m. EDT)Mission Control says spacewalk preparations are running 20-25 minutes ahead of schedule.
1915 GMT (3:15 p.m. EDT)With help from their fellow crewmates, Danny Olivas and Nicole Stott are getting suited up inside the Quest module for today's spacewalk.
1755 GMT (1:55 p.m. EDT)Astronauts John "Danny" Olivas and Nicole Stott are gearing up for a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk to remove a massive 1,300-pound ammonia coolant tank from the International Space Station's solar power truss.
While the spacewalk is going on, astronauts inside the station will be moving supplies and equipment into the lab complex from a cargo module delivered by the shuttle Discovery, including a new carbon dioxide removal system, a storage rack, a new astronaut sleep sta
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1745 GMT (1:45 p.m. EDT)The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. G) can be downloaded here.
1700 GMT (1:00 p.m. EDT)The astronauts just woke up to begin Flight Day 5, which will feature a 6.5-hour spacewalk as well as continued work inside the station unloading the Leonardo module.
Read our earlier status center coverage.
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