Status Report

STS-98 Status Report #11 12 Feb 2001 7:00 PM CST

By SpaceRef Editor
February 12, 2001
Filed under ,

The astronauts

aboard Atlantis breezed through the second spacewalk of their mission

today and attached a docking port to the end of the International Space

Station’s new Destiny Laboratory, completing all the spacewalk’s planned

tasks and more.

Astronauts Tom

Jones and Bob Curbeam exited Atlantis’ airlock at 9:40 a.m. Central

to begin the work outside, turning their first attention to moving the

docking port. Inside the shuttle, Marsha Ivins operated Atlantis’ robotic

arm, latching on to the docking port and, with visual cues provided

by Jones and Curbeam, removing it from a location on the station truss

where it had been temporarily stowed on Saturday. Jones and Curbeam

then relocated themselves to the end of the Destiny Lab, where they

again provided visual cues as Ivins moved the port into its new position.

The port was then latched in place, and ground controllers will send

further commands tonight to finish tightening bolts that will secure

it to the lab. Called Pressurized Mating Adapter 2, it will become the

primary docking port for future shuttle visits.

The two spacewalkers

then moved rapidly through a variety of tasks, including the installation

of insulating covers over the pins that had held Destiny in place during

launch; attaching a vent to part of the lab’s air system; putting wires,

handrails and sockets on the exterior of Destiny as aids for future

spacewalkers; and attaching a base for the future space station robotic

arm, scheduled for launch on an April shuttle flight. With all of the

tasks planned for today’s spacewalk completed, and still time available,

the astronauts then moved to tasks that had originally been planned

for the third spacewalk of the flight. Ahead of schedule, they connected

several computer and electrical cables between the docking port and

the lab; unveiled the lab’s large, high-quality window and attached

an exterior shutter; and repositioned a movable foot platform they had

taken inside Atlantis on the first spacewalk for a slight adjustment.

Jones and Curbeam

climbed back into the shuttle airlock and ended the spacewalk at 4:49

p.m. Central, giving the outside work a total duration of 6 hours, 50

minutes. The spacewalk was the 99th time in history that U.S. astronauts

had ventured outside of a spacecraft, and the 59th spacewalk from a

Space Shuttle.

While the spacewalk

was under way, space station ground controllers sent commands to begin

spinning and testing four large station gyroscopes attached to the station

truss that are operated by electronics inside the Destiny Lab. The gyroscopes

are working well, and testing will continue until early Tuesday morning.

Later Tuesday, they are planned to take over control of the station’s

orientation from the spacecraft’s jet thrusters, conserving precious

fuel aboard the station. The Control Moment Gyroscopes, spinning at

6,600 revolutions per minute, are planned to be the primary method for

controlling the station’s orientation.

On Tuesday, the

hatches will remain closed between the shuttle and station to conserve

shuttle air. The shuttle crew will have the morning off-duty, a break

from the busy pace of the mission thus far, and, in the afternoon, they

will focus on preparations for the third and final spacewalk planned

on Wednesday. Also tomorrow, the shuttle will perform another gradual

altitude boost of itself and the station.

The shuttle and

station crews will go to sleep at 8:13 p.m. Central. The shuttle crew

will awaken at 4:13 a.m. and the station crew will awaken at 4:43 a.m.

The Johnson Space Center newsroom will close at 9 p.m. today and reopen

at 4 a.m. Tuesday. The next Mission Status Report will be issued at

5 a.m. Tuesday.

SpaceRef staff editor.