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STS-114 MCC Status Report #17



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

STS-114 MCC Status Report #17
Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2005 - 7:30 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

Despite days of anticipation and intense planning, space-walking 
astronaut Steve Robinson made it look easy as he gently pulled two 
protruding gap fillers from between thermal protection tiles on 
Discovery's underside Wednesday morning.

"It looks like this big patient is cured," Robinson told delighted 
flight controllers.

Fellow spacewalker Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration 
Agency helped Robinson with preparations, and from a perch near the end 
of a Space Station truss acted as observer and communication relay 
station between Robinson and astronaut Andy Thomas aboard Discovery. 
Thomas was the onboard coach and monitor for Robinson and Noguchi 
throughout the 6-hour 1-minute spacewalk. Discovery Pilot Jim Kelly and 
Mission Specialist Wendy Lawrence operated the Station's Canadarm2, 
which moved Robinson to and from the worksite. Today's spacewalk, the 
third of the mission, began at 3:48 a.m. CDT and concluded at 9:49 a.m.

Deputy Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale, in Wednesday’s 
afternoon briefing, said “The crew demonstrated consummate 
professionalism and coolness beyond belief. They [the gap fillers] came 
out just as we thought they would. It looked easy but was not, which is 
a tribute to the crew and the team on the ground that planned it, so 
we’re proud of that.”

Gap fillers like those Robinson removed today are thin, coated Nextel 
fabric. The protruding gap fillers were identified in photos taken by 
Station crewmembers using telephoto lenses as Discovery did a slow back 
flip about 600 feet below before docking.

During the spacewalk Noguchi and Robinson, helped by the Station's 
robotic arm, installed an external stowage platform outside the station 
that will be used to house spare parts. Noguchi also installed another 
Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE). Like its 
predecessors, MISSE 5 exposes samples of various materials to the harsh 
space environment for several months.

In other activities, Kelly worked with Mission Specialist Charlie 
Camarda on an inspection of the repair demonstration tiles in 
Discovery's cargo bay. Using the Orbiter Boom Sensor System, they looked 
at tiles brought up for an experimental repair by Robinson and Noguchi 
on the mission's first spacewalk Saturday.

Station crewmembers, Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer 
John Phillips, continued to stow equipment and supplies on the Station 
and Shuttle. Discovery Commander Eileen Collins operated shuttle systems 
and supervised activities.

Hale also said the only part of Discovery’s heat shield not yet cleared 
for entry is a bulging thermal blanket below the Shuttle commander’s 
window. Managers will meet Thursday morning to review tests to help 
determine whether the blanket might pose a concern for entry.

The next STS-114 mission status report will be issued Thursday morning, 
or earlier, if events warrant.
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