Spaceflight Now STS-105

Spacewalkers lay backup cables for future assembly

Posted: August 18, 2001

The spacewalkers work to unreel a power cable on the exterior of the Destiny lab module. Photo: NASA TV/Spaceflight Now
Astronauts Daniel Barry and Patrick Forrester attached hand rails and two 45-foot-long emergency power cables to the hull of the international space station today during a successful five-hour 29-minute spacewalk.

The cables will provide backup heater power for delicate electronic equipment housed inside a giant truss segment scheduled for attachment to the top of the U.S. Destiny lab module during assembly mission 8A early next year.

If the astronauts on that mission run into any trouble getting the S0 truss hooked up, the cables installed today will provide emergency "keep-alive" heater power until the issue can be resolved. Today's work went smoothly and there were no problems of any significance.

"Well, I'm happy with the way we left those cables," Forrester said shortly before re-entering Discovery 's airlock. "I'll bet the Expedition Three crew (inside the station) thought they had squirrels in the attic today."

"Yeah, I bet they did," Barry replied.

Today's excursion, the second EVA for Barry and Forrester, began at 9:42 a.m. and ended at 3:11 p.m. It was the 109th U.S. spacewalk, the 68th staged from a space shuttle and the 26th devoted to assembly of the international space station. Twenty-three Americans, one Canadian and two Russian cosmonauts have now logged 167 hours and 20 minutes building and maintaining the outpost.

As spacewalks go, today's outing was straight forward and relatively easy.

"In order to install these cables, the crew first had to take out a couple of bags full of handrails that they installed on the laboratory module," said Scott Bleisath, lead spacewalk officer for Discovery's mission. "These handrails are normally used by EVA crew members to translate, hand-over-hand, along the module. But in this case, the handrails are used as tie down points to route these sets of cables.

"The installation of those handrails went very smoothly and the crew was able to spend the majority of their time deploying these cables, making sure they were tied down securely so they don't move around and that they don't get in the way of other EVA work sites," Bleisath. "All of that went really well."

Spacewalker Barry rides the shuttle's robotic arm. Photo: NASA TV/Spaceflight Now
Before re-entering the airlock, Barry and Forrester "got to spend some time with their cameras photographing the cables they deployed today and documenting all the work sites," Bleisath added.

Hatches between Discovery and the station were re-opened about an hour after the end of the spacewalk. The combined shuttle-station crews plan to spend the evening completing a final few equipment transfers from the shuttle to the lab complex and to close out the Leonardo cargo module.

Flight director Kelly Beck said today the crew is virtually finished repacking Leonardo with about 2,300 pounds of trash and no-longer-needed station equipment bound for Earth. If all goes well, the cargo module will be detached from the station Sunday and reberthed in Discovery's cargo bay.

"Tonight they'll be doing their last bit of transfer and preparation for MPLM (Leonardo) final closeout tomorrow," said Beck. "So tomorrow, we'll do that closeout, we will demate the MPLM from the station, put it back in the payload bay and we'll also be completing transfer and handover activities. All in all, we had a very good day today and we look forward to the rest of the flight."

If all goes well, Leonardo will be re-mounted in Discovery's cargo bay by around 4 p.m. Sunday. The shuttle is scheduled to undock from the station at 10:51 a.m. Monday and to land back at the Kennedy Space Center just before 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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Dan Barry emerges from shuttle Discovery's airlock for the second of two spacewalks of this mission. This EVA is to attach handrails and extend two power cables along the sides of the station's Destiny module.
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Pat Forrester floats out of the airlock and into Discovery's payload bay for his second ever EVA while fellow spacewalker Dan Barry hangs of the shuttle's robot arm.
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Spacewalker Dan Barry attaches a yellow handrail to the hull of the station's Destiny module, then uses a cordless screwdriver-like tool to tighten down the structure.
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As spacewalker Pat Forrester completes his handrail installation chores, he pauses to pose for some dramatic video with Discovery's nose as backdrop.
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The spacewalkers unreel a 45-foot-long power cable along the port side of the space station's U.S. Destiny laboratory module. The cable would be used to provide quick power to the S0 truss segment.
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