Thanksgiving Day spacewalk on tap for astronauts
Posted: November 28, 2002

The Endeavour astronauts were awakened for a Thanksgiving Day spacewalk at 8:15 a.m. by a recording of the opening theme from the movie "Trading Places" that was beamed up at the request of spacewalker Michael Lopez-Alegria's family."

"Sounding good, Joanie!" Lopez-Alegria radioed astronaut Joan Higginbotham in mission control.

"You're looking good, LA," she replied.

"Thanks, that's very inspirational. We're pumped up, ready to go, I could just see my suits being arranged and you guys making fresh-squeezed orange juice for us down there. We're looking forward to a great day. We all miss our families and we're sorry you all are having to work on Thanksgiving, but it's all for a good cause. Thank you very much."

"You're quite welcome and we're happy to be here to support you," Higginbotham said. "And we're also looking forward to an awesome EVA today."

While Americans enjoy traditional turkey dinners and college football, the Endeavour astronauts will be gearing up for a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk by Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington to continue the outfitting and activation of the P1 solar array truss that was attached to the international space station Tuesday.

If all goes well, the spacewalkers will float out of the Quest airlock module around 2:20 p.m.

The goal of this second excursion is to install ammonia fluid-line jumpers, to remove the two keel pins used to physically secure P1 in the shuttle's cargo bay for launch, to install a second wireless astronaut "helmet cam" antenna system on the P1 truss and to move a new CETA rail cart from the P1 truss to the S1 truss on the opposite side of the station.

The latter promises to be particularly dramatic. Herrington, anchored to the end of the station's robot arm, will manually hold the 600-pound CETA cart while the arm, operated by space station science officer Donald Pettit and commander Kenneth Bowersox, swings him through a sweeping 180-degree arc to the opposite side of the truss.

The cart must be moved before the third spacewalk of the flight to permit the Canadarm2's mobile transporter to move from its current location at worksite 4, on the front of the central S0 truss, to worksite 7 on the far end of P1, where it will be needed to complete EVA-3 activities.

"One of the neat things I get to do at the end of EVA-2 - this will probably be the high point of all the EVAs for me - is to climb on board the robotic arm with Don at the controls," Herrington said. "And I'll be taking the CETA cart from the left side of station to the right side of station.

"I'll lift it off, we'll back away from the truss a little bit, then Don will put the arm through a maneuver that will take me completely past the tail of the shuttle and back up around to the right side of the station where we'll move it back in slowly, with Mike guiding me, and we'll put it back onto the rails. So that's going to be a real exciting time, I'll get to see the station from a pretty neat perspective."

But Pettit said the drama will be a strictly slow-motion affair.

"Nothing like this happens really fast," he said. "I mean if you sat there and watched the arm move, you've got to blink a few times to see whether it's really moving. So we're not going to be trying to set any world records here. It takes about 20 minutes to do this trajectory, so there'll be plenty of time to run off to the refrigerator and grab another soft drink."

The first item on the agenda for EVA-2 is to install fluid jumpers between S0 and P1 to connect ammonia coolant lines. Both spacewalkers, their feet anchored in foot restraints, will be required to complete this objective.

"These are large hoses that actually connect the S0 truss to P1 truss and it'll allow us to flow ammonia, which is a cooling agent we use with the radiators," Herrington said. "That's our first task, that's probably the hardest task in that EVA."

Herrington and Lopez-Alegria then will remove and stow the starboard keel pin before using the CETA cart to carry the second wireless EVA television antenna, or WETA, assembly to the end of P1. Lopez-Alegria will mount the assembly while Herrington releases clamps on electrical cables that will be used on an upcoming assembly flight. He also will inspect the system that will be used to clamp the next port-side truss element to P1.

Both spacewalkers then will remove and stow the port keel pin before performing the CETA cart relocation maneuver to conclude the six-and-a-half-hour excursion.

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