Launch: April 5, 2010
Time: 6:21 a.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: April 18 @ approx. 8:30 a.m.
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility
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Welcome to Spaceflight Now's live coverage of space shuttle Discovery's STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. Text updates will appear automatically; there is no need to reload the page.
FRIDAY, APRIL 9, 2010Here's some of the spacewalk video highlights now available in our archive for Spaceflight Now+Plus subscribers:
1258 GMT (8:58 a.m. EDT)
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: RATE GYRO ASSEMBLY REMOVED FROM STATION PLAY
VIDEO: NEW AMMONIA TANK STOWED IN TEMPORARY SPOT PLAY
VIDEO: ANCHORING FIXTURE ATTACHED TO AMMONIA TANK PLAY
VIDEO: EXPERIMENT RETRIEVED FROM JAPAN'S SCIENCE DECK PLAY
VIDEO: STATION'S ROBOTIC ARM LIFTS TANK FROM SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: NEW AMMONIA COOLANT TANK UNBOLTED FROM CARRIER PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKER PREPS AMMONIA TANK IN SHUTTLE BAY PLAY
VIDEO: THE START OF MISSION'S FIRST SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: STEP-BY-STEP WALKTHROUGH OF EVA NO. 1 PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 5 ACTIVITIES PLAY
MORE: STS-131 VIDEO COVERAGE
MORE: HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO COVERAGE
1210 GMT (8:10 a.m. EDT)This was the fourth EVA in the careers of both astronauts. Rick Mastracchio has accumulated 24 hours, 40 minutes and Clay Anderson 24 hours, 38 minutes of spacewalking time on their previous excursions in 2007.
1158 GMT (7:58 a.m. EDT)EVA ENDS. Repressurization of the Quest airlock module began at 7:58 a.m. EDT, marking the official end of today's spacewalk by Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson. The EVA lasted six hours and 27 minutes.
This was the first of three spacewalks planned for Discovery's mission to the space station. The next EVA will occur Sunday morning beginning around 2:15 a.m. EDT to remove the depleted ammonia tank and install the new one on the Starboard 1 truss. The final excursion is planned for Tuesday morning starting around 3:15 a.m. EDT to stow the old tank in the shuttle's bay for return to Earth.
1155 GMT (7:55 a.m. EDT)The airlock hatch has been closed and locked. Standing by for repressurization.
1143 GMT (7:43 a.m. EDT)The spacewalkers are climbing into the airlock to finish this successful outting.
1115 GMT (7:15 a.m. EDT)The spacewalkers are getting close to wrapping up the EVA.
1039 GMT (6:39 a.m. EDT)Mission Control reports a successful start-up of the newly installed Rate Gyro Assembly.
1031 GMT (6:31 a.m. EDT)Passing the five-hour mark into the EVA. The two spacewalkers have completed all of the primary jobs for this excursion. They'll use the remaining time to tackle a few get-ahead tasks.
1011 GMT (6:11 a.m. EDT)Mastracchio is getting the new Rate Gyro Assembly secured inside the Starboard 1 truss now.
0958 GMT (5:58 a.m. EDT)The robot arm has deposited the Ammonia Tank Assembly on the mobile transporter's hand-like anchor where it will remain until the next spacewalk when the astronauts actually install the reservoir into the Starboard 1 and hook up the plumbing lines.
0957 GMT (5:57 a.m. EDT)Rick Mastracchio unbolted and tried to pull the old Rate Gyro Assembly out of the space station. But there was a slight blockage from a neighboring equipment restraint device that he had to move out of the way. The RGA is now removed.
0923 GMT (5:23 a.m. EDT)The next task for the spacewalkers is removing and replacing a Rate Gyro Assembly in the station's central Starboard 0 truss. The RGA is part of the station's navigation system.
0900 GMT (5:00 a.m. EDT)The new grapple fixture has been installed to the underside of the ammonia tank by the spacewalkers. The station's arm can now maneuver the tank over the mobile transporter and dock the payload there.
0845 GMT (4:45 a.m. EDT)The spacewalkers have met up with the Ammonia Tank Assembly up at the space station's External Stowage Platform No. 2 to attach a second handling device onto the payload. This fixture will enable the tank to be anchored onto the station's mobile transporter for the next two days.
The tank must be left on that temporary spot while the station's arm lets go and relocates its operating base in preparation to reach the tank installation point on the Starboard 1 truss during the next spacewalk.
0838 GMT (4:38 a.m. EDT)Just over the three-hour mark of the spacewalk and the astronauts are progressing right on the timeline.
0822 GMT (4:22 a.m. EDT)While station robot arm is in motion, spacewalker Rick Mastracchio has headed over to the Japanese Kibo external science deck and retrieved the Micro-Particles Capture/Space Environment Exposure Device experiment. He'll bring it back inside the station at the end of today's EVA.
0800 GMT (4:00 a.m. EDT)The Ammonia Tank Assembly is en route to the International Space Station. Robot arm operators Stephanie Wilson and Jim Dutton have begun maneuvering the tank out of the space shuttle's payload bay. They'll move it toward the External Stowage Platform No. 2 where the spacewalkers will rendezvous with the tank again and attach another handling fixture onto the structure for its securing onto the station. The tank's installation into its permanent home inside the Starboard 1 truss occurs on the next spacewalk.
0747 GMT (3:47 a.m. EDT)The station's robot arm has grappled the Ammonia Tank Assembly.
0739 GMT (3:39 a.m. EDT)The tank has been unbolted and freed from the launch pallet that bridges across the payload bay. They had a bit of trouble getting it separated from the carrier's soft-dock feature, having to use a pry bar to release it fully.
This boxy coolant reservoir is in the hands of the spacewalkers to hand up to the International Space Station's robot arm.
0720 GMT (3:20 a.m. EDT)Now with his feet securely anchored in the restraint platform, Anderson is helping the free-floating Mastracchio in releasing the bolts that hold the new tank to its carrier structure in the shuttle payload bay.
0710 GMT (3:10 a.m. EDT)The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. D) can be downloaded here.
0707 GMT (3:07 a.m. EDT)Both spacewalkers have been reunited in the shuttle payload bay. Anderson is getting a foot restraint attached to the launch carrier structure for him to stand on during the tank's removal.
0650 GMT (2:50 a.m. EDT)The grapple bar is now firmly installed on the new tank. Next, the crew will unbolt the tank from its launch carrier and manually hand the 1,700-pound structure to the station's arm waiting nearby.
0620 GMT (2:20 a.m. EDT)Down in the payload bay of space shuttle Discovery's payload, Mastracchio is working to attach a grappling fixture onto the new ammonia tank. This will enable the station's robotic arm to grasp the tank and move it.
Anderson is visiting the old ammonia tank that will be replaced on the space station where he disconnected four ammonia coolant and nitrogen pressurization lines.
0559 GMT (1:59 a.m. EDT)Rick Mastracchio previews today's spacewalk:
"On EVA 1, first thing we'll do, once we egress the space station airlock is head over to the payload bay. We have the brand new full ammonia tank in the back of the payload bay of the space shuttle. We'll translate over there. We'll disconnect that ammonia tank from the payload bay and Clay will actually lift it up out of the payload bay and hold it while the robotic arm comes over and grapples it.
"The robotic arm will then take that ammonia tank and temporarily stow it over on the space station for future EVA.
"After we're done with that, I'll go over and pick up what's called the Seeds Experiment. It's a material science experiment over on the Japanese exposed facility and then Clay and I will head back to the space station, where we will do the remove and replacement of the RGA, the Rate Gyro Assembly."
0531 GMT (1:31 a.m. EDT)EVA BEGINS. The spacewalkers switched their suits to internal battery power at 1:31 a.m. EDT, marking the official start time for today's EVA by Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson. This is the first of three spacewalks planned during Discovery's mission at the International Space Station.
0501 GMT (1:01 a.m. EDT)Airlock depressurization is underway in advance of today's spacewalk.
0440 GMT (12:40 a.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.
0310 GMT (11:10 p.m. EDT Thurs.)With help from their fellow crewmates, Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson are getting suited up inside the Quest module for today's EVA.
0215 GMT (10:15 p.m. EDT Thurs.)Discovery pilot Jim Dutton, who is working tonight to get spacewalkers Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson ready to head out the door, previews the preparations for the EVA.
"They will have camped out (inside the airlock) overnight at 10.2 PSI, a lower pressure than normal to help get their bodies ready for the lower pressure of the suit to avoid the bends," he explained.
Shortly after wakeup tonight, the two astronauts were able to briefly rejoin the others inside the station for a hygiene break.
"When they open the hatch they'll be on oxygen masks and they'll go out and take a break. During that time, I'll come in and begin the process of preparing their suits and when they come back in, we'll drop the hatch back down. We'll go back down to about 10 psi and get them in the suits and purge those suits of all the air except for oxygen so they'll be in a pure O2 environment. Then they have about a 50-minute wait in there before we take them off the stand and start preparing to send them into the crew lock and then outside."
0055 GMT (8:55 p.m. EDT Thurs.)The imagery analysts have determined that no "focused inspections" will be required for shuttle Discovery's heat shield during a placeholder that is in the crew's timeline on Flight Day 6.
0052 GMT (8:52 p.m. EDT Thurs.)The astronauts just woke up to begin Flight Day 5, which will feature a spacewalk outside the International Space Station as well as continued work inside to unpack the Leonardo module.
0030 GMT (8:30 p.m. EDT Thurs.)Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson are set for a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk Friday, the first of three excursions required to install a 1,700-pound ammonia coolant tank on the International Space Station's solar power truss.
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