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STS-116 Mission Updates: Part 2

Discovery Shuttle CrewRoused for Second EVA

14 December 2006 10:20 a.m.EST

HOUSTON - Astronauts aboard NASA's space shuttle Discovery awoke tothe tune of "Under Pressure" by Queen on Flight Day 6 of their 12-day mission,the highlight of which is their second spacewalk outside the International SpaceStation (ISS).

Flightcontrollers here at NASA's Johnson Space Center chose the song to rouse Discovery'sSTS-116 crew for lead spacewalker RobertCurbeam, who will make the fifth extravehicular activity (EVA) of hisastronaut career today.

The crewawoke at about 10:17 a.m. EST (1517 GMT).

Thespacewalk, aimed at rewiring half of the space station's power grid, will beginat 3:12 p.m. EST (2012 GMT). Joining Curbeam will be European Space Agencyspaceflyer ChristerFuglesang.

Click herefor a videooverview of today's spacewalk.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

ISS Solar Array RotationBegins

13 December 2006 8:31 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Two wing-like solar arrays areslowly rotating on the portside truss of the International Space Station (ISS) afterhours of work by astronauts and flight controllers to retract a Port 6 trusssolar array partway.

ISSmission controllers activated the portside Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, which isnow turning the wing-like Port 3/Port 4 solar arrays like a paddlewheel. Thearrays will track the Sun to power the ISS after two more spacewalks set forthis week.

Meanwhile,mission managers said tomorrow's planned STS-116 spacewalk to rewire the spacestation's power grid will proceed as planned despite the only partiallyretracted Port 6 array.

A teamwill draw up plans for a future spacewalk to aid in the Port 6 array's fullretraction, that work could occur as early Saturday during the third planned,STS-116 spacewalk. It could also be performed in an unplanned fourth spacewalkor be reserved for ISS crewmembers, NASA astronaut Stephen Robinson has toldthe station crew.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

ISS Solar Array Rotationto Begin

13 December 2006 8:00 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Space station flightcontrollers are activating the orbital laboratory's portside Solar Alpha RotaryJoint, which is designed to turn the outboard Port 3/Port 4 solar wings like apaddlewheel.

"Thatwill be fun to watch," Discovery shuttle commander Mark Polansky said.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

ISS Solar Array RetractionWork to Conclude

13 December 2006 7:30 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Space station flightcontrollers have decided to leave the Port 6 truss' 4B solar array partiallyretracted in order to proceed with plans to start up the rotation of two othersolar arrays on the outpost's port side.

The P6-4Barray will stay partially retracted, leaving just less than 40 percent of the115-foot wing exposed.

In themeantime, flight controllers will activate a massive joint known as the SolarAlpha Rotary Joint (SARJ) that will begin turning the station's outboard Port3/Port 4 (P3/P4) solar arrays like a paddlewheel to track the Sun.

The P6-4Bsolar wing originally stretched out through the space in which its P3/P4counterparts will rotate. With the array now partially retracted, the P3/P4wings have a clear area in which to track the Sun continuously. They will beused as the station's primary power source following two more spacewalksplanned for this week.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Daylight Dwindles, ISSSolar Array Retracted Enough

13 December 2006 7:04 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Retraction work continues withfew daylight orbital periods remaining, and the ISS Port 6 solar arrayretracted within NASA's rules for starting rotation of two other solar arrays.

The Port6 solar arrays has been retracted to the point that 17.5 mast bays are leftexposed. There are 31.5 box-like bays on the 115-foot array's erector-set likemast.

Astronautsaboard the ISS and Discovery had to retract the array to a point where amaximum of 19 bays were exposed, so flight controllers could leave the array asis--partially retracted--and proceed with other vital operations to prepare forfuture STS-116 mission activities.

Aspacewalk tomorrow requires that ISS flight controllers begin priming anammonia cooling system by no later than midnight tonight.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

ISS Solar Array PartiallyRetracted

13 December 2006 6:24 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Astronauts at the InternationalSpace Station have again folded a solar array in enough to accomplish today'sprimary goal: clearing the station's portside to allow another set of solarwings to begin rotating to track the Sun.

Therehave been 35 start and stop attempts to retract the array, known as P6-4B onthe station's mast-like Port 6 truss.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Partial Solar ArrayRetraction on Tap

13 December 2006 5:57 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Beleaguered by funky folds andother issues, flight controllers have given astronauts at the InternationalSpace Station a go ahead to only partly retract a solar array extending overthe port side from the mast-like Port 6 truss.

Theshuttle and ISS crews will extend the array out until some incorrect folds inits solar panels are clear, then retract it to the 40 percent mark.

The solararray's mast has 31.5 segments, known as bays. In order to retract the arrayenough to allow the rotation of two other solar arrays mounted to the station'sPort 3/Port 4 truss - a vital milestone for Discovery's STS-116 mission - thePort 6 array will be pulled in until 19 bays, at most, are extended.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Astronauts Try to JoltSolar Array Into Action

13 December 2006 5:30 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - An attempt to start, then immediatelystop, the extension of one of two solar array on the mast-like Port 6 truss toshake an incorrect fold appears unsuccessful.

Flightcontrollers are considering spacewalk options for the solar array retraction,but are hopeful they can get the array retracted enough to allow the rotationof another portside solar array during the next daylight pass of theInternational Space Station.

Aftermore than 24 attempts to retract the array, it is now on the very edge of theacceptable 40-percent boundary to be considered retracted enough, NASAofficials said.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to follow today'sSTS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed available at viathe link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Astronauts Eye TensionLines in Solar Array Work

13 December 2006 5:00 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Astronauts at the InternationalSpace Station are eyeing a set of tension lines in their work to retract a Port6 solar array today.

Flightcontrollers believe that one of those lines could have snagged in a grommet duringthe retraction process, contributed today's array retraction difficulties.

Solararray retraction efforts continue in a start and stop fashion aboard the spacestation.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

 

Astronauts Set for FinalSolar Array Retraction Attempts

13 December 2006 4:30 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Astronauts at the InternationalSpace Station are set for one last daylight pass in which to retract a Port 6solar array.

Theastronauts will extend the array out to NASA's limit, about 19 sections--orbays--of the solar wing's mast and try to clear out some waves and tensionslack before again retracting.

Ifneeded, they may deploy the array out a few bays further, but must ultimatelyreel in the solar wing to 19 bays in order to clear a rotational path foranother set of arrays.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

ISS Solar Array 40 PercentRetracted

13 December 2006 3:57 p.m.EST

HOUSTON -The Port 6 (P6) solar array currently being retracted outside the InternationalSpace Station (ISS) has been reeled in enough to meet NASA's minimum hopes fortoday's procedure.

Known asthe P6-4B array, the solar wing has repeatedly encountered folding hitchesduring today's retraction, but is now more than 40-percent retracted, theminimum amount required to allow the rotation of two other outboard solararrays.

Flightcontrollers and astronauts aboard the ISS and Discovery are now debatingwhether to continues today's retraction, leave it as is, or extend to out to 19segments-- the 40 percent mark--of the solar array's mast. The P6 array's mastextends a total of 31.5 segments, known as bays, each of which is just overthree feet in height.

Currently,the array is extended about 17.5 bays.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Solar Array RetractionWork is Back and Forth

13 December 2006 3:40 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Space station astronautscontinue to attempt to retract the Port 6 solar array extending out to port overthe U.S. Destiny module.

It isback and forth work as astronauts reel in the array, then redeploy it to clearincorrect folds. There is no pressing time limit to perform the retraction,though NASA hopes to complete it today in order to move ahead with plans torewire the station's power grid.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Incorrect Fold Pops upAgain in Solar Array Retraction

13 December 2006 3:22 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - After once again attempting toretract one of two solar wings extending from the Port 6 truss, astronautsaboard the International Space Station reported another incorrect fold duringthe process.

ISSastronauts halted the retraction process once more and expect to redeploy thearray, and repeat the reel in process.

Flightcontrollers have given the ISS crew approval to redeploy and retract as needed.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

 

ISS Solar Array Redeployedto Clear Fold

13 December 2006 3:03 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Space station astronauts haveredeployed one of the outpost's Port 6 solar arrays in order to clear anincorrect fold.

Theyextended one of two solar wings on the station's Port 6 truss after part of thearray bulged out in the wrong direction. The array is not completed redeployed,but is extended enough to clear the offending fold.

The stationcrew will again prepare to retract the Port 6 array to clear the outpost's portside of any obstruction for a pair of other arrays designed to rotate to trackthe Sun.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Astronauts to Extend SolarArray to Clear Fold

13 December 2006 2:41 p.m.EST

HOUSTON -Space station astronauts will once more extend one of the outpost's Port 6solar arrays to clear an incorrectly folded crease in one of its thepower-generating panel.

"We'll goahead and extend it until it takes care of itself or until it is fullyextended, whichever comes first," ISS Expedition 14 commander MichaelLopez-Alegria told flight controllers.

Lopez-Alegriahalted the Port 6 array's retraction in midstream after noticing that part ofthe solar wing had bulged outward instead of folding away correctly.

The ISScrew is retracting the P6 array to clear the station's port side of anyobstructions for a pair if new Port 3/Port 4 solar arrays, which are due tobegin rotating to track the Sun later today.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Astronauts Halt SolarArray Retraction

13 December 2006 2:12 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Astronauts aboard theInternational Space Station (ISS) have halted their retraction of a solar arrayafter a crease developed during the process.

Part thearray has bowed out slightly. About 26 of the 120-foot array's 31.5 mastsections remain to be retracted.

Thestation is heading towards the Earth's nightside, so the astronauts aboard willwait until the next daylight pass to renew their efforts.

Theastronauts are working pulling one of two solar wings on the station's Port 6array, which has spent six years unfurled above the outpost's U.S. Destinylaboratory.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Astronauts Reel in ISSSolar Array a Bit Further

13 December 2006 1:42 p.m.EST

HOUSTON -A 120-foot solar wing that has helped power the International Space Station forsix years has been retracted a but further into its storage box as astronautsand flight controllers look on.

Retractionof the Port 6 solar array extending over the portside of the ISS began at about1:28 p.m. EST (1828 GMT).

Flightcontrollers initially planned to retract the array in about three bays, butasked for two more to inspect a kink in the shimmering solar wing.

One bayis one segment of the array's pop-up mast. There are 31.5 bays in all on thearrays mast.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Astronauts Retract SolarArray Partway

13 December 2006 1:37 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Astronauts aboard the International SpaceStation (ISS) have reeledin a 120-foot solar array a few feet as part of a check of today's retractionprocess.

"Itsounded like a good job," NASA astronaut Terry Virts, serving as ISS spacecraftcommunicator told the ISS crew.

It is thefirst time in ISS history that a solar array is being retracted in orbit.

ISSastronauts began reeling in a solar wing extending towards the portside fromthe mast-like Port 6 truss above the station's U.S. Destiny module at 1:28 p.m.EST (1828 GMT). About one minute later, the array was retracted three bays.

One bayis one segment of the array's pop-up mast. There are 31.5 bays in all on thearrays mast.

Discoveryshuttle commander MarkPolansky has noted that part of the array appears to have folded the wrongway. Further inspections are underway.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Astronauts toRetract ISS Solar Array
13 December 2006 1:25 p.m. EST

HOUSTON - Astronauts aboard the InternationalSpace Station (ISS) are minutes away from beginning today's planned retractionof one of the outpost's Port 6 solar arrays.

One solar wing ofthe mast-like Port 6 truss is set to begin retracting in a few minutes to clearanother set of port side solar arrays to begin rotating like a paddlewheel totrack the Sun.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned solar array retraction.

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

- Tariq Malik

 

Mission's First SpacewalkEnds for Shuttle Astronauts

12 December 2006 10:08p.m. EST

HOUSTON - STS-116 spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have once more entered the Quest airlock and shut the outer hatchas they prepare to conclude more than six hours of orbital work outside theInternational Space Station.  

Totalspacewalk time: six hours and 36 minutes.

The spacewalkbegan at 3:31 p.m. EST (2031 GMT) and concluded at 10:07 p.m. EST (0307 Dec. 13GMT).

A wrapstory of today's spacewalk will be posted to the SPACE.com homepage shortly.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Shuttle Astronauts Returnto ISS Airlock

12 December 2006 9:50 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Shuttle astronauts RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have surpassed the six-hour mark for today's spacewalk and areheading back inside the International Space Station's Quest airlock.

Fuglesangreported a lost extension tool, which apparently escaped from its tether whilehe was moving along the ISS exterior.

Theastronauts are checking all of their tools and stowing equipment at theairlock.

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalkers Split up inFinal Tasks

12 December 2006 9:23 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have gone separate ways to complete some final chores as theynear the end of their planned six-hour spacewalk outside the InternationalSpace Station (ISS).

Fuglesanghas returned to the end of the newly installed Port 5 (P5) truss to remove twofinal launch locks in order to complete an extra "get-ahead" task during thisspacewalk. Curbeam is returning tools and other items to the station's Questairlock,

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's STS-116 activities live using SPACE.com's NASA TV feed availableat via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalkers Install NewISS Camera

12 December 2006 9:06 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Five hours and 30 minutes intotheir planned six-hour spacewalk, shuttle astronauts RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have completed their final task of the day: the installation of anew video camera to the starboard truss aboard the International Space Station(ISS).

Theastronauts are about to start heading back to the station's Quest airlock,though flight controllers are going over any possible tasks they can performbefore then.

Todays'spacewalk is the first of three planned during the astronauts' STS-116 missionto install the Port 5 truss and rewire the station's power grid. 

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

One Spacewalker RechargesSpacesuit

12 December 2006 8:41 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Five hours into their mission'sfirst spacewalk, STS-116 mission specialists RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang are performing the final tasks of their orbital construction andmaintenance job.

Fuglesangreturned from the newly installed Port 5 truss to the International SpaceStation's Quest airlock to retrieve a new video camera and recharge hisspacesuit for a few minutes. Curbeam hauled himself, hand over hand, from Port5 (the leftmost side of the station) all the way to the Starboard 1 (S1) trusson the other side of the outpost's metallic backbone to prepare the camerarepair worksite.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

ISS Camera Repair Next forSpacewalkers

12 December 2006 8:10 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang are now heading to the opposite end of International SpaceStation's (ISS) main truss to replace a malfunctioning video camera on theStarboard 1 (S1) segment.

The taskis the final planned activity of today's six-hour spacewalk. Curbeam andFuglesang have spent about five and a half hours working in space.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Shuttle Astronauts PerformMore Extra Tasks

12 December 2006 8:00 p.m.EST

HOUSTON -Still working ahead of schedule, Discovery shuttle astronauts RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have extra tasks ahead of them tasks during today's spacewalk.

The twoastronauts have helped install the new Port 5 truss and moved a grapple fixturefrom its exterior. Curbeam has connected a series of utility cables--and extrachore on today's orbital to-do list.

The finalplanned task for today's spacewalk is to replace a malfunctioning videocamera. 

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalkers Move GrappleFixture

12 December 2006 7:32 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have relocated a robotic arm grapple fixture from the top of thenewly installed Port 5 truss to the Mobile Transporter outside theInternational Space Station.

Thespacewalkers have hit the four hour mark of today's planned six-hour spacewalk.

Curbeamhas been making some utility connections between the Port 5 truss and itsconnection point at the end of the Port 3/Port 4 element. The activity is aget-ahead task, but is made possible since the astronauts are ahead ofschedule.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Grapple Fixture Freed FromNew ISS Piece

12 December 2006 7:08 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - After applying some extra elbowgrease to remove some hard-to-reach bolts, shuttle astronauts RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have pried loose a grapple fixture from its launch position onthe Port 5 truss.

They areabout halfway through their task of relocating the grapple fixture so that itwon't interfere with other hardware on the exterior of the International SpaceStation (ISS) hardware.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalkers Work to MoveGrapple Fixture

12 December 2006 6:47 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang are moving a grapple fixture from its launch position on the Port5 truss to a permanent slot so that it does not obstruct International SpaceStation (ISS) hardware.

Thegrapple fixture was used by spacecraft robotic arms to help install the P5truss. Its relocation is the second of three primary tasks in today'sspacewalk.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

New Truss Segment OfficiallyPart of ISS

12 December 2006 6:22 p.m.EST

HOUSTON -Discovery astronaut ChristerFuglesang has installed the final grounding strap to the recently installedPort 5 (P5) truss outside the International SpaceStation (ISS), officially making the two-ton spacer part of the orbitallaboratory.

Fuglesangand fellow STS-116 spacewalker RobertCurbeam are minutes away from the half-way mark of their six-hourspacewalk, which began at 3:31 p.m. EST (2031 GMT) today.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalkers Bolt NewTruss Segment to ISS

12 December 2006 5:44 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have completed driving four bolts into place to secure the Port 5(P5) truss to the InternationalSpace Station (ISS).

Someadditional truss-related activities remain, such as installing grounding strapsand other items.

Meanwhile,the space station's robotic arm has released P5 at its perch at the end of thePort 3/Port 4 (P3/P4) truss on the ISS. The new truss adds about two tons tothe space station's already hefty orbital weight.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalk Continues, NoFocused Heat Shield Inspection for Discovery

12 December 2006 5:38 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - As shuttle astronauts RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang cross the two-hour mark in today's spacewalk, STS-116 missionmanagers have decided that no additional inspections of Discovery's heat shieldwill be required tomorrow.

AstronautKevin Ford, serving as spacecraft communicator, alerted Discovery commanderMark Polansky of the STS-116 mission management team's decision minutes ago.

"Well,that's outstanding news," Polansky said. "Sounds like you guys have obviouslydone your usual thorough analysis."

Mission managers reported some scuffs anddings on Discovery's belly-mounted tiles and a possible minor impact to one ofthe orbiter's wings. None of the events were thought serious, but flightcontrollers proceeded with analyses anyway to be sure.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to follow today'sspacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

 

New Piece of ISS in Place,Spacewalkers Prepare to Drive Bolts

12 December 2006 5:20 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - The new Port 5 (P5) spacerelement of the International Space Station has soft docked to the portside endof the outpost's main truss and awaiting work to secure it in place.

SpacewalkersRobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang gave verbal commands to their STS-116 crewmate Joan Higginbotham,who maneuvered the P5 truss using the station's robotic arm, to ease thesegment into position.

"We didn'twant to scream on the loop, but we're very happy," Higginbotham said, referringto the communications channels used in today's spacewalk.

 Curbeamand Fuglesang are now set to lock four bolts into place using their pistol griptools. The bolts will secure P5 to the end of the Port 3/Port 4 solar arraytruss.

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

 

Spacewalkers Remove TrussLaunch Locks

12 December 2006 5:08 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have successfully removed all four launch locks from the new Port5 truss outside the InternationalSpace Station (ISS).

Inside thestation, astronauts Joan Higginbotham and Sunita Williams are easing P5 intoits final place using the station's robotic arm.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

New Space Station PieceAligned for Installation

12 December 2006 4:41 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - A two-ton addition to the International SpaceStation (ISS) is in a pre-installation position to allow spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang to remove a series of four launch locks.

Known asthe Port 5 (P5) truss, the new piece of the ISS will serve as a bridge betweentwo solar array segments on the port side of the ISS. The truss is within reachof Curbeam and Fuglesang, who are poised at the end of the space station's Port3/Port 4 solar array segment.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalkers Guide New ISSPiece In

12 December 2006 4:25 p.m.EST

HOUSTON -Spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have given verbal feedback to robotics handlers aboard the International SpaceStation (ISS) as they pre-positioned the new Port 5 segment near itsinstallation point on the portside edge of the outpost's main truss.

Once inplace, Curbeam and Fuglesang will begin removing a series of launch locks andrestraints that helped stabilize the Port 5 truss element in Discovery'spayload bay during launch.

 

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Shuttle Spacewalkers Headto Worksite

12 December 2006 4:05 p.m.EST

HOUSTON -Astronauts RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang are working their way out to the portside truss of International SpaceStation (ISS) as they head to their primary worksite for today'sspacewalk. 

Thespacewalkers are pulling themselves hand over hand as they move towards the Port3/Port 4 truss segments of the ISS. Their first task is to prime the Port 5truss for installation at the end of Port 3/Port 4.

A videodescription of today's spacewalk is available here.

 

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalk Begins forShuttle Astronauts

12 December 2006 3:40 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers RobertCurbeam and ChristerFuglesang have begun the first of three planned spacewalks for theirSTS-116 mission to the InternationalSpace Station (ISS).

The two astronauts switched their spacesuitsto internal battery power just past 3:30 p.m. EST (2031 GMT). Today's plannedspacewalk is expected to run about six hours, and calls for the installation ofa new truss segment, the relocation of a grapple fixture and replacement of amalfunctioning camera.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of today's planned spacewalk.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalkers Open ISSAirlock Hatch

12 December 2006 3:33 p.m.EST

HOUSTON -Discovery shuttle astronauts Robert Curbeam has opened the outer hatch of theQuest airlock aboard the International Space Station (ISS) now thatdepressurization is complete.

Hatchopening came at about 3:30 p.m. EST (2030 GMT) as Curbeam and his spacewalkingpartner Christer Fuglesang prepare to begin their STS-116 mission's firstspacewalk.

Theairlock hatches thermal cover was apparently pushed open by residual airpressure.

"I'mpretty sure it did because I am looking at daylight," Curbeam said.

Bothspaceflyers are clad in NASA's white Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs).Curbeam's EMU sports a red stripe and U.S. flag while Fuglesang's spacesuit isall white with a Swedish flag.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalkers Begin toDepressurize ISS Airlock

12 December 2006 3:04 p.m.EST

HOUSTON - The atmosphere inside the Quest airlock aboard the International SpaceStation is on its way down as astronauts Robert Curbeam and Christer Fuglesangdepressurize the small space for today's spacewalk.

It shouldtake about 11 minutes to remove most of the atmosphere from Quest. Hatchopening and the start of today's spacewalk to install the Port 5 truss willthen follow.

 

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Spacewalkers toDepressurize Airlock

12 December 2006 2:42 p.m.EST

HOUSTON  - Discovery astronauts Robert Curbeam and ChristerFuglesang have donned their NASA spacesuits and are preparing to depressurizethe Quest airlock aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as they readythemselves to step outside the orbital laboratory.

The spacewalk is slated tobegin about one hour from now, though Discovery's STS-116 crew and their ISSExpedition 14 counterparts have been running ahead of schedule, NASA officialssaid.

Curbeam and Fuglesang willhelp install the Port 5 (P5) spacer segment to the portside end of thestation's main truss. They are also due to move a grapple fixture on P5 and areplace a video camera on a different truss segment.

Today's spacewalk isscheduled to begin at about 3:42 p.m. EST (2042 GMT).

You are invited to followtoday's spacewalk live using SPACE.com's NASATV feed available at via the link on the left of this page.

 

- TariqMalik

Discovery Crew Preparesfor First Spacewalk

12  December 200611:50 a.m. EST

HOUSTON  - The Discovery astronauts are awake and getting readyfor the first of three planned spacewalks for this mission today. Today's spaceouting, expected to last about 6 hours, will be to install a new two-ton P5truss segment to the left side of the International Space Station's (ISS) mainsolar array truss. Mission specialists Robert Curbeam and Christer Fuglesangare the spacewalkers for today. Their call signs are EV-1 and EV-2,respectively.

"Good morning,Discovery," astronaut Shannon Lucid said mission control. "And aspecial good morning to you this morning, Christer, and we wish you well as youstep outside of the airlock for the first time today."

"Morning Houston, thanks a lot," Fuglesang said. "Nice musicthis morning."

The spacewalkers are scheduledto exit the station's Quest airlock module where they spent the night at around3:42 p.m. EST (2042 GMT).

- KerThan

Clickhere for older STS-116 mission update

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