New station gyroscope installed by spacewalkers
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: August 1, 2005
Two spacewalkers installed a new motion control gyroscope on the international space station today, but initial electrical checks failed. Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi then was asked to disconnect and reseat three critical electrical cables and, after finding one that was a bit loose, the gyroscope powered up normally.
"The last few actions that Soichi did on the connectors worked," Mike Massimino radioed from mission control in Houston. "We have three good connectors and a healthy CMG. Thanks a lot."
The installation of a replacement control moment gyroscope was the primary objective of today's spacewalk. Before stowing tools and cleaning up the shuttle Discovery's cargo bay, Noguchi and fellow spacewalker Stephen Robinson were asked to carry out a few other "get-ahead" tasks, two of them to support possible repair work Wednesday.
Mission managers are debating asking Robinson or Noguchi to remove two troublesome "gap fillers" sticking up between heat shield tiles on the belly of the space shuttle. NASA managers have not yet approved the work, although sources say it appears likely the gap filler fix will be added to crew's third and final spacewalk later this week.
Noguchi and Robinson were asked to remove a foot restraint from the end of the space station's robot arm so the arm, if the repair work is approved, can "walk off" the laboratory module Destiny, using its free end to lock onto a support fixture on the station's main solar array truss. The arm must be repositioned to give one of the spacewealkers access to Discovery's underside.
Noguchi and Robinson also were asked to retrieve a tool stowed in an externally mounted took box for possible use during the proposed gap filler repair and to reposition yet another foot restraint as a get-ahead task for the next station assembly crew.
The 60th spacewalk devoted to station assembly and maintenance began at 4:42 a.m. and ended at 11:56 a.m., giving 53 astronauts and cosmonauts a cumulative total of 362 hours and 19 minutes of station spacewalk time. Robinson and Noguchi have now logged 14 hours and four minutes of EVA time in two excursions with a third on tap Wednesday.
"It's been great working with you guys today, it's been a real pleasure for the entire team down here," Mike Massimino radioed the astronauts from mission control.
"OK, Mike, thank you very much for your patience," astronaut Andy Thomas replied from Discovery.
See the Status Center for full play-by-play coverage.