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Spacewalkers Wrap Up Space Station Service Call

Spacewalkers Wrap Up Space Station Service Call
Spacewalkers Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn exit the Quest airlock to begin the fifth and final spacewalk of the STS-127 mission on July 27, 2009.
(Image: © NASA TV)

Thisstory was updated at 1:20 p.m. EDT.

Twoastronauts wrapped up some final maintenance work on the International SpaceStation Monday during the fifth and last planned spacewalk of their mission tothe orbital lab.

Spacewalkers Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn spent just under five hourstackling odd jobs and unfinished work outsidethe station during their mission's fifth spacewalk, which tied the recordfor the most outings performed on the orbiting lab while a space shuttle isdocked at the outpost.

"We'repretty awed by this whole thing," said their crewmate Dave Wolf,spacewalking chief of NASA's astronaut office, from inside linked station andEndeavour as the spacewalk ended. "The whole team put together these five[spacewalks]. The two of you have done just an outstanding effort."

"ThanksDave," both spacewalkers radioed back.

Monday's spacewalk marked the third career outing for both Cassidy andMarshburn and the last planned while the shuttle Endeavour is dockedat the station. Cassidy took things slow and steady to avoid overtaxing hisspacesuit's ability to scrub carbon dioxide from his atmosphere, which occurredon his first two spacewalks.

Butdespite Cassidy's deliberately slow pace, the spacewalk started at 7:33 a.m. EDT (1133 GMT) - nearly an hourearly - and went swiftly as the two astronauts worked 220 miles (354 km) aboveEarth.

"If you go even slower, we'll get further ahead," Wolf told Cassidywhile choreographing the 4-hour, 54-minute spacewalk from inside Endeavour.

Endeavour’ssix-man,one-woman crew is in the home stretch of a 16-day mission that delivered anew crewmember and vital spare parts to the space station, as well as a new exterior experiment porch for thestation’s Japanese-built Kibo laboratory.

Smooth spacewalk

Cassidy and Marshburn breezed through their initial chores to rewire powercables for the space station's American-built attitude control system andsecure loose insulation on a Canadian-built maintenance robot. They thenswiftly added a pair of television cameras to the new experiment porch thattheir shuttle Endeavour delivered for the station's $1 billion JapaneseKibo laboratory.

Thevideo cameras will provide good views of Japan's new unmanned cargo ship - theH-2 Transfer Vehicle - when it makes its maiden flight to the station inSeptember.

Theastronauts completed all the tasks set for them during today's excursion,except for the installation of a cargo attachment system, which Mission Controldecided would take too long to do today. Instead, the spacewalkers worked onsome get-ahead tasks to fill their remaining time outside, including installing new handrails andwork site attachments on the Kibo lab and attaching wire ties to some external cables.

Monday’sspacewalk was the 130th dedicated to space station construction andmaintenance. Over the last 10 years, astronauts have spent 810 hours and 33minutes - more than a full month - spacewalking to build the $100 billionlaboratory.

In all,Endeavour’s spacewalking team spent a total of 30 hours and 30 minutesworking outside the station during the mission’s five outings. Marshburnfinished a total of 18 hours and 59 minutes of orbital work during his threespacewalks, while Cassidy wrapped up with a total of 18 hours and five minutes.

Endeavour’sother spacewalkers were astronauts Tim Kopra and Wolf. Kopra made one spacewalkand ended with five hours and 32 minutes. Wolf participated in the first threespacewalks of the flight, for a career total of 41 hours and 57 minutes overseven spacewalks in all.

The shuttlecrew will undock Endeavour from the space station on Tuesday - one day beforean unmanned Russian cargo ship is due at to arrive at the outpost - and returnto Earth on Friday.

  • Video - An International Smorgasbord in Space
  • Video - The Kibo Lab: Japan's Hope in Space - Part 1, Part 2
  • SPACE.com Video Show - The ISS: Foothold on Forever

SPACE.comis providing continuous coverage of STS-127 with reporter Clara Moskowitz andsenior editor Tariq Malik in New York. Moskowitz contributed to this report.Click here for missionupdates and SPACE.com's live NASA TV video feed.

 

 

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