Spaceflight Now





The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-119
Payload: S6 power truss
Launch: March 15, 2009
Time: 7:43 p.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: March 28 @ 3:13 p.m. EDT
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC
Mission Status Center

STS-119 Video Coverage

High Definition Video

NASA TV (rev. S)

Launch Windows Chart

Countdown Timeline

Ascent Timeline

Master Flight Plan

ISS Spacewalk Stats

Space Shuttle Schedule

Space Shuttle History

Manned Spaceflights

STS-119 Mission Index

Our Shuttle Archive




The Crew




Meet the astronauts flying aboard shuttle Discovery's STS-119 mission.

Meet the Astronauts

CDR: Lee Archambault

PLT: Tony Antonelli

MS 1: Joe Acaba

MS 2: Steve Swanson

MS 3: Ricky Arnold

MS 4: John Phillips

Up: Koichi Wakata

Down: Sandy Magnus

Current Demographics

Flight Assignments




Spaceflight Now +



Subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus for access to our extensive video collections!
How do I sign up?
Video archive

STS-119: The programs

In advance of shuttle Discovery's STS-119 mission to the station, managers from both programs discuss the flight.

 Play

STS-119: The mission

A detailed preview of Discovery's mission to deliver and activate the space station's final power truss is provided in this briefing.

 Play

STS-119: Spacewalks

Four spacewalks are planned during Discovery's STS-119 mission to the station.

 Play

STS-119: The Crew

The Discovery astronauts, led by commander Lee Archambault, meet the press in the traditional pre-flight news conference.

 Play

Become a subscriber
More video



Spacewalkers finish part of their Saturday to-do list
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: March 21, 2009

Engineers are studying options for freeing a jammed locking pin, part of a clamp that apparently was installed backwards by a spacewalker today in the topsy-turvy world of microgravity. The backward clamp prevented a stowed space station cargo carrier from fully deploying and locking into place.

The spacewalkers also ran into familiar problems re-configuring a wiring panel because of a stuck connector that has defied repeated disconnection attempts.

The patch panel, located near the station's vertical zenith 1, or Z1, truss, routes power to and from the lab's four stabilizing gyroscopes. One gyro was tied into a circuit breaker used by another stabilizer during an earlier mission because of a circuit failure. The circuit breaker was replaced, but attempts to disconnect the cable in question so it could be hooked back up to its own circuit breaker were unsuccessful during an earlier mission and astronaut Steven Swanson was unsuccessful making another attempt today.

Lead flight director Kwatsi Alibaruho said Swanson was trained to simply re-wire the panel from the back, but he ran out of time during today's spacewalk. The work may be added to a third and final spacewalk Monday or deferred to a later assembly mission. The gyros operate normally in the current configuration, but a single worst-case failure in the circuitry could disable two gyros at the same time and NASA managers want to restore normal redundancy as soon as possible.

"We had certainly another exciting day in space today," Alibaruho said. "We didn't accomplish everything we wanted to accomplish on this EVA, but just know we did accomplish all the critical-path items that were scheduled."

Inside the space station, meanwhile, the astronauts carried out a critical test of a new urine processor distillation assembly centrifuge that was carried up by Discovery.

The station's water recycling system is designed to convert sweat, condensate and urine into pure water for drinking, personal hygiene and oxygen generation. But the original distillation assembly malfunctioned shortly after it was installed late last year, victim of some sort of internal vibration or interference issue.

The water recycling system is crucial to NASA's plans for eventually supporting a full-time crew of six aboard the station.

The replacement distillation assembly was installed Friday and today, the crew fired up the new centrifuge for a test run.

"That activation and checkout went very well," Alibaruho said. "What we did was, we pointed a high definition camera and microphone at the unit. That unit is like a big centrifuge, kind of similar to a washing machine. So the vibrations and the sounds that it makes tells us quite a bit about its health.

"Basically, that unit functioned normally. We spun it up for about five or so minutes without any fluid in it, just to make sure that the motor was spinning properly and the rpm and the currents and the voltages on the motor looked normal. All of that looked very normal and in fact, we did get feedback from the ISS crew that that new distillation assembly actually sounded much quieter than the original. So, just based on qualitative feedback from the crew, we know there's certainly a difference in performance of this unit versus the original that was installed on the last mission.

"So tomorrow (Sunday), what's on the plate is to actually fill the urine processor with urine and attempt to do a full process cycle on that and shunt that processed urine to the water recovery system to then allow us to take an end-of-mission sample. So that work is going very well."

As for today's spacewalk, Alibaruho said Swanson and Joseph Acaba accomplished the highest-priority objectives: breaking torque on a solar array battery pack that will be replaced in June; installing a GPS antenna on a Japanese module; and photographing radiator panels to help engineers assess an area of damage and any other possible problems.

But the astronauts were unable to unstow and deploy an unpressurized cargo carrier attachment system, or UCCAS, on the lower side of the port 3, or P3, solar array truss segment. The UCCAS was built into the truss segment and has been stowed since launch. During today's deployment, Swanson and Acaba removed clamps and locking pins and attempted to rotate the mechanism outward.

As it turns out, one variable-diameter locking pin, part of a clamp-like device, was reinstalled in the wrong orientation, causing the pin to physically interfere with the deployment. The spacewalkers struggled to free the jammed pin, even using a tool as an impromptu lever. But they were unsuccessful.

"One of the first things they do when they come out to prep the UCCAS for its deploy is to pull the adjustable-diameter pin out of the hinge line where it's holding it from deploying inadvertently, and move it over to the stow location," said lead spacewalk officer Glenda Laws-Brown.

"As you know, when you get to the international space station there is no up and down. And my guess is they thought they had it in the right configuration, but because up is down and down is up, it was actually 180 degrees out from where it should have been."

Spacewalk planners are evaluation options for freeing the jammed pin and an attempt may be added to the crew's third spacewalk Monday. In the meantime, Swanson tied down the UCCAS mechanism with tethers before today's spacewalk ended to make sure the system cannot inadvertently move.

"All in all, it was a successful EVA in that the highest priority tasks were completed and as far as the tasks we had difficulty with, tasks that we had problems with, these are things where there will be no long term programmatic impact," Alibaruho said.

"However, we do want to take a much closer look at that UCCAS mechanism that was not fully deployed today. We had the crew attach some tethers to that, we had the crew essentially put it in a safe configuration to where it can sustain all of the planned structural loading of events from thruster-driven attitude control or gyroscope-driven attitude control. So the station is in a perfectly safe configuration right now. But we will be looking at that in more detail and we probably attempt some remediation on EVA 3."

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: WALKTHROUGH OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 PLAN PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: NEWS MEDIA INTERVIEWS WITH CREW PLAY
VIDEO: SECOND SOLAR WING FULLY DEPLOYED PLAY
VIDEO: SECOND SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY PLAY
VIDEO: FIRST SOLAR WING FULLY DEPLOYED PLAY
VIDEO: FIRST SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF SOLAR ARRAY DEPLOYMENT PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKER STEVE SWANSON RELEASES LOCKS PLAY
VIDEO: STARBOARD 6 TRUSS ATTACHED TO THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: WALKTHROUGH OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 PLAN PLAY
VIDEO: OVERVIEW OF THE STARBOARD 6 TRUSS PAYLOAD PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF TRUSS INSTALLATION PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: POWER TRUSS HANDED FROM SHUTTLE TO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: STARBOARD 6 TRUSS HOISTED FROM PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF S6 TRUSS UNBERTHING PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED TOUR OF DISCOVERY'S PAYLOAD BAY PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY DOCKS TO SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE'S POINT OF VIEW DURING BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY PERFORMS 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THE FULL STS-119 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: FRONT CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: THE VIP VIEWING SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 009 PLAY

VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY BLASTS OFF PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE'S CREW MODULE HATCH CLOSED FOR FLIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST STEVE SWANSON BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: PILOT TONY ANTONELLI BOARDS DISCOVERY PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER LEE ARCHAMBAULT BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF SUNRISE AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF HYDROGEN ACCESS ARM RETRACTION PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF SATURDAY NIGHT'S GANTRY ROLLBACK PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S SHUTTLE AND WEATHER UPDATE BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: POST-SCRUB NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY IN THE PREDAWN DARKESS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S ROLLBACK OF PAD GANTRY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF PAD GANTRY ROLLING BACK PLAY
VIDEO: THE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE IN FLORIDA FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: POST-ARRIVAL COMMENTS FROM THE CREW PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: SECOND LAUNCH POSTPONEMENT BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: NARRATED MISSION OVERVIEW MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MEET SHUTTLE DISCOVERY'S ASTRONAUTS PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER LEE ARCHAMBAULT PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH PILOT TONY ANTONELLI PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS1 JOE ACABA PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS2 STEVE SWANSON PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS3 RICKY ARNOLD PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS4 JOHN PHILLIPS PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS5 KOICHI WAKATA PLAY

VIDEO: NASA OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE LAUNCH DELAY PLAY
VIDEO: SPACE STATION'S VIBRATIONS DURING REBOOST PLAY

VIDEO: INFORMAL NEWS CONFERENCE AT RUNWAY PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY POSITIONED ATOP PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: EARLY MORNING ROLLOUT FROM THE VAB PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF DISCOVERY ARRIVING AT PAD 39A PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CRANE ROTATES DISCOVERY VERTICALLY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: DISCOVERY MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: NOSE WHEEL LANDING GEAR RETRACTED PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF DISCOVERY GOING VERTICAL PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ASSEMBLY BUILDING CRANE WORK PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF DISCOVERY'S TRIP TO VAB PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF PAYLOAD'S MOVE PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: STS-119 MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY
MORE: STS-119 VIDEO COVERAGE
SUBSCRIBE NOW

STS-134 Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Final Shuttle Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Apollo Collage
This beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.
 U.S. STORE

STS-133 Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Anniversary Shuttle Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Mercury anniversary

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!


Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.