Army Astronaut Spacewalks
Army astronaut Col. Doug Wheelock exits the U.S. Quest joint airlock this morning to begin his second spacewalk.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 30, 2007) -- Army astronaut Col. Doug Wheelock and mission specialist Scott Parazynski perfomed a spacewalk Tuesday mornig to help fasten the Port 6 truss to its new home on the International Space Station.

They helped the station robotic arm operators, mssion specialist Stephanie Wilson and flight engineer Dan Tani, install the Port 6 truss. Pilot George Zamka maneuverered the shuttle robotic arm during the spacewalk.

The spacewalking duo worked at the outboard end of the port truss helping with the robotic arm attachment of the P6 truss in its new location on the end of the Port 5 truss. Then astronaut Parazynski inspected the port Solar Alpha Rotary Joint. Mission managers wanted to compare data from this inspection to the data gathered during Sunday's inspection of the starboard SARJ, where vibrations and increased power consumption had been seen.

This was the third spacewalk for mission STS-120 and the second for Col. Wheelock.

Col. Wheelock and Dr. Parazynski made the mission's first spacewalk on Friday when they attached the Harmony node to the Unity node of the space station. The Harmony node will enable two additional laboratories to eventually be attached the International Space Station during future missions, Col. Wheelock said. He explained that the Columbus Laboratory from the European Space Agency will be attached to the starboard side of the node and a Japanese experiment module laboratory will eventually be attached on the portside.

"We like to think of our mission as sort of a gateway to opening up and expanding the capability of the station to be that world-class science platform that we hope and dream that it will be," Col. Wheelock said during an earlier interview. "It will also open up the capability to expand the long-duration crew on the station from a crew of three to something upwards of six people eventually...

"So this module is very, very important in that it provides a gateway to house those other laboratories and will also provide life support systems, power and data transmission and all the things required for laboratories to interact and be integrated with each other, and also be able to deliver the power to those laboratories where they can do the science that we desire."

The second spacewalk of mission STS-120 was conducted Sunday by Dr. Parazynski and astronaut Daniel Tani. They detached the P6 solar arry truss from the top of the space station so that robotic arms could move it to where it needed to be attached.

Mission managers replanned the fourth spacewalk of the mission and extended the STS-120 mission by one day. The spacewalkers will go back to the starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint to continue inspections. The new task, longer than the previously planned, caused postponement of the test of a tile repair tool.

(Information provided by NASA. For more details, see <a href="http://www.nasa.gov/">http://www.nasa.gov/</a>. )

Page last updated Tue October 30th, 2007 at 08:47