SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
*Astronauts to Add Segment to Station During Spacewalk*
Image above: STS-116 and Expedition 14 crew members take a moment for a group picture shortly after the hatches opened between Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA TV TO SEE PICTURE GO TO: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html
STS-116 Mission Specialists Robert Curbeam and Christer Fuglesang will go spacewalking today. The primary objective of the spacewalk is to install a new piece to the space station's girder-like truss. The two-ton piece will be the fifth truss segment added to the port side of the station and is called the P5 spacer.
From inside the space station Mission Specialist Joan Higginbotham will use the station's robotic arm to move the new segment with only inches of clearance into its installation position. The spacewalkers will assist by providing two extra pairs of eyes as the exacting operation is carried out.
Once the segment is in place, Curbeam and Fuglesang will bolt it to its permanent position and finalize installation with power, data and heater cable connections.
Pilot Bill Oefelein will coordinate the spacewalk, which is slated to begin at 3:42 p.m. EST and conclude at 9:52 p.m.
Two more spacewalks are slated for STS-116, on Thursday and Saturday. All three will be based out of the station’s Quest Airlock.
Also, the STS-116 and Expedition 14 crews will continue joint operations, which began Monday evening.
For the latest news and information on the International Space Station and the Expedition 14 crew, please visit the main station page. + Read more http://www.nasa.gov/station