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Second Spacewalk of STS-128 Mission Begins

Status Report From: Johnson Space Center
Posted: Thursday, September 3, 2009

image At 6:12 p.m. EDT, NASA astronaut Danny Olivas and ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang began the second of three spacewalks scheduled during the STS-128 mission. The spacewalk is scheduled to last 6.5 hours. Olivas, the STS-128 lead spacewalker, is wearing a spacesuit marked with solid red stripes. Fuglesang is wearing an all-white spacesuit.

Two astronauts are conducting the second of three planned spacewalks during this mission. Mission specialists Danny Olivas and Christer Fuglesang will install a new ammonia tank on the International Space Station and stow a depleted tank for return to Earth.

Olivas and Fuglesang spent the night in the Quest airlock in preparation for the excursion. Mission Specialist Patrick Forrester is serving as the intravehicular officer throughout the 6.5-hour spacewalk, which began at 6:12 p.m. EDT.

The spacewalk activity will begin in Discovery’s payload bay where the two spacewalkers will remove the new ammonia tank. They will take a thermal blanket off of the tank and loosen four bolts holding the tank to a cargo carrier. Fuglesang, positioned at the end of the station robotic arm, will hand carry the tank to the truss. Pilot Kevin Ford and Expedition 20 Flight Engineer Nicole Stott will operate the arm for the 30-minute maneuver and other arm operations.

Olivas and Fuglesang will meet at the Port 1 truss to install the tank. They will attach it to the truss with four bolts and connect its fluid lines. Then Olivas will ingress a foot restraint on the truss to remove the depleted tank previously attached to the end of the robotic arm. He will hand it to Fuglesang, who will be on the arm to hold the 1,295-pound tank for the ride to the payload bay.

There, they will install the tank on the carrier rack with four bolts and cover the tank with a thermal blanket. They also will remove a grapple fixture from the tank, to be relocated to the starboard truss for later use.

The remaining crew members will continue unloading the Leonardo cargo module.

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