Status Report

NASA STS-119 Report #13 Saturday, March 21, 2009 – 9 p.m. CDT

By SpaceRef Editor
March 21, 2009
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NASA STS-119 Report #13  Saturday, March 21, 2009 – 9 p.m. CDT

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

HOUSTON – The STS-119 mission of space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station approached the halfway point with focus today on the second spacewalk to prepare the complex for future assembly flights and arrival in the fall of a new cargo-carrying spacecraft – Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle.

Steve Swanson and Joe Acaba floated out of the Quest airlock at 11:51 for the six hour, 30 minute spacewalk completing the highest priority tasks that included preparing a worksite for new batteries that will be brought up on the STS-127 mission of Endeavour. They also installed a Global Positioning System antenna on the pressurized logistics module attached to the Kibo laboratory.

During installation of a cargo carrier attach system, a misaligned bracket proved too difficult to reposition and the crew was called off to pursue other tasks, including imagery documentation of station radiators.

With the 122nd spacewalk devoted to station assembly and maintenance complete, astronauts now have spent more than 768 hours outside the station. Swanson completed his fourth spacewalk and Acaba, his first.

Replanning efforts are underway to review tasks for the third spacewalk planned for Monday. Acaba and Ricky Arnold are scheduled to conduct that spacewalk.

Inside the station, station Commander Mike Fincke and shuttle Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus activated the newly installed distillation assembly component of the Urine Processor and claimed its initial operation seemed to operate with less noise. Sunday the unit will be run through an actual processing cycle, which takes about four hours.

Also Sunday, the crews will have some off duty time ahead of continued transfer work and preparations for Monday’s spacewalk.

Bedtime for the station and shuttle crews comes earlier tonight – about 10 p.m. – with wake up Sunday at 5:43 a.m.

The next status report will be issued at the end of the crew day, or earlier if events warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.